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Posts tagged ‘Rio de Janeiro’

Pope Names 19 New Cardinals, Focusing on the Poor.


Pope Francis on Sunday named his first batch of cardinals, choosing 19 men from Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, including Haiti and Burkino Faso, to reflect his attention to the poor.

Francis made the announcement as he spoke from his studio window to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square.

Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they are eligible to elect the next pope, which is a cardinal’s most important task. The ceremony to formally install them as cardinals will be held Feb. 22 at the Vatican.

Some appointments were expected, including that of his new secretary of state, the Italian archbishop Pietro Parolin, and the German head of the Vatican’s watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller.

But some names were surprising.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the pope’s selection of churchmen from Haiti and Burkino Faso, which are among the world’s poorest nations, reflects Francis’ attention to the destitute as a core part of the church’s mission.

Also chosen to become a “prince of the church,” as the cardinals are known, was Mario Aurelio Poli, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, a post Francis left when he was elected as the first Latin American pope in March.

His selections also came from Managua, Nicaragua; Santiago, Chile; and Rio de Janeiro. The appointees included churchmen from Seoul, South Korea, and the archbishop of Westminster, in Britain, Vincent Nichols.

In a sentimental touch, the three men too old to vote for the next pope include 98-year-old Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla, who had served as personal secretary to Pope John XXIII. The late pontiff will be made a saint along with John Paul II at the Vatican in April.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Brazil Police Turn to Bible Studies to Bust Stress.


Paulo Henrique Silva de Pinho
Police officer Paulo Henrique Silva de Pinho of Brasilia, with his wife, Ruth Silva, and son Heitor Luz, 2. (Courtesy Paulo Henrique Silva de Pinho)

Amid concerns about police brutality, Brazilian military police officers are taking Bible study classes during their working hours to help them deal with stress and improve their personal and family lives.

The initiative teaches officers how to apply biblical concepts to everyday family matters and encourages them to search for biblical examples that give advice, guidance and solutions about family issues, including how to rear children, handle finances and build personal relationships.

The Moral Education Program was launched as a three-month pilot project in the capital Brasilia by the Federal District Military Police in partnership with the Sao Paulo-based University of the Family. More than 150 officers applied to join the project but only 70 have been selected to attend the two-hour weekly sessions because of limited space.

The Christianity-based course has hit controversy with critics arguing it is inappropriate for Brazil as a secular state—with a stated policy of neutrality on religion—to promote Christian teachings in a public institution. The military police is the civilian wing of the security forces and responsible for law and order on the streets, attending crime scenes and arresting suspects.

“The constitution clearly prohibits the dissemination of religious doctrine,” said Paulo Blair, a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Brasilia.

But a representative from the military police said while the secular state makes it clear that it will not favor one religion over another, it also means the state will not interfere with the operation of any religion.

“We see this course as a tool that can help our officers, said military police chaplain Gisleno Farias, coordinator of the program.

The program comes at a time when Brazil’s police are under increased pressure to restrain their heavy-handed tactics against anti-government protesters who took to the streets in the thousands this year to demonstrate against government spending policies, political corruption and the excessive amount of public funds invested in the construction of the 2014 FIFA World Cup stadiums and Olympic venues.

Lucia Nader, executive director of Conectas, a Brazilian human rights organization based in Sao Paulo, said the level of violence displayed by the military police when handling crowd control calls for urgent reforms.

“Military police have not followed the democratization process in the country,” Nader said. “They must be able to protect citizens, not treat them as enemies, fulfill their roles efficiently, but also respect human rights.”

But as violent bouts of social unrest, such as last week’s clashes between protesters and security police in Rio de Janeiro, continue to disrupt major Brazilian cities, authorities say they are trying to find ways to alleviate their officers’ stress.

“The police need to be prepared for the worst, because they never know what kind of situation they are likely to face on a daily basis,” said Farias.

The chaplain said 90 percent of the officers in Brasilia define themselves as Christian so the material was designed to reflect that faith.

“In December of this year, when the course finishes, we will do a review and decide after that whether the scheme should be taken nationwide,” Farias said. “If this happens we will also make sure that similar initiatives are adopted based on material from other faiths. But this will depend on the level of the demand.”

Police officer Paulo Henrique Silva de Pinho has been with the Federal District Military Police in Brasilia for over 10 years. He admitted he wasn’t religious but when he heard about the course he decided to sign up because he was having marital problems.

“My wife and I were arguing a lot,” he said. “Things were very unhappy. It was affecting our son and having a negative effect on my performance at work. I couldn’t concentrate and felt irritable and pressured.”

After attending four sessions the 34-year-old officer says he has already noticed the difference in how he approaches the difficulties at home.

“It has been an excellent opportunity for me to examine who I am and to grow as a man, father, husband and professional,” de Pinho said. “I have learned how to show patience and tolerance and I feel the sessions are giving me the qualities to help me grow as a person and to help me play my role fully in my family.”

His wife, Ruth, agreed.

“This Bible course couldn’t have come at a better time, because I have got my husband back,” she said. “He is motivated, loving and the changes in him have helped me to become more understanding. I am excited about our future together now as a family.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

JANET TAPPIN COELHO/RNS


Copyright 2013 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

WSJ: UK’s Detainment of Greenwald’s Partner Justified.


Image: WSJ: UK's Detainment of Greenwald's Partner Justified

Glenn Greenwald, left, walks with his partner David Miranda at Rio de Janeiro’s International Airport on Aug. 19.

By Dan Weil

The Wall Street Journal says British authorities were justified in detaining journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda at Heathrow Airport Sunday, calling it a “lawful and necessary” step in the effort to shut down further leaks about the National Security Agency’s data collection program.

Greenwald, a writer for The Guardian newspaper of London, has published stories about telephone and Internet surveillance efforts based on information provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In an editorial Wednesday, the Journal alleged that Miranda has carried secret documents stolen from the NSA by Snowden.

During Miranda’s detainment, British authorities seized his computer and other electronic devices, which the Journal said included encrypted files stored on thumb drives.

“Mr. Greenwald calls all this ‘simply despotic.’ Sober observers might describe it as reasonable, lawful and necessary,” Journal said.

“Mr. Snowden has continued to disclose details of NSA surveillance programs, chiefly through Mr. Greenwald, that have revealed no deliberate wrongdoing or civil-rights trespasses but are of potentially keen interest to Islamic terrorists, Chinese hackers, Russian spies and anyone else interested in how the U.S. gathers electronic data,” the editorial continued.

“Oh, and Mr. Snowden has also been charged by the U.S. government with committing crimes. Lawful governments are in the business of stopping that sort of thing.”

Pointing to the British Terrorism Act of 2000, the Journal justified Miranda’s detainment by noting that the law permits authorities to interrogate people passing through British airports for up to nine hours and to take their property for up to seven days, without any reasonable suspicion that they broke any laws.

“The law does give authorities arguably too much discretion,” the Journal said. “But that’s not the same as saying they abused it in this case, much less that they used it — as Mr. Greenwald complained in his column — ‘to send a message of intimidation to those of us working journalistically on reporting on the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ.’

“The British didn’t take Mr. Miranda’s gaming console because they wanted to beat his high score in “Assassin’s Creed.” They seized it because it could be used to ferry the documents Mr. Snowden stole,” the Journal concluded.

The editorial also noted that authorities had ample reason to be suspicious of Miranda because he was “traveling on a ticket paid by the Guardian and had come from Berlin, where by Mr. Greenwald’s admission he was trading materials with an American filmmaker who has collaborated with Mr. Greenwald on the Snowden leaks.”

The Journal also asserted that “it’s a near-certainty” that Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies have seen what’s on Snowden’s own computer “hard- and thumb-drives.”

“Messrs. Greenwald and Snowden say all they want is an open and honest debate about U.S. and U.K. surveillance practices,” the editorial continued. “By all means let’s have it—and conduct it lawfully. But so long as Mr. Snowden refuses to make his case before a jury in the U.S. and Mr. Greenwald continues to use his partner as his transporter, they should expect inspections from law enforcement.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

UK Detains Partner of Journalist Who Broke Snowden Story.


British authorities used anti-terrorism powers to detain the partner of a journalist with close links to Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor, as he passed through London’s Heathrow airport on Sunday.

The 28-year-old David Miranda, a Brazilian citizen and partner of U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald who writes for Britain’s Guardian newspaper, was questioned for nine hours, before being released without charge, a report on the Guardian website said.

Rio de Janeiro-based Greenwald has interviewed Snowden, wanted by U.S. authorities after leaking confidential data, and used 15,000 to 20,000 documents Snowden passed to him to reveal details of the U.S. National Security Agency‘s surveillance methods.

Snowden is now in Russia, where he has been granted a year’s asylum but the U.S. Obama administration has vigorously pursued ways to bring him back to the United States to face espionage charges.

A spokesman for the British Metropolitan Police Service confirmed that a 28-year-old male had been detained at Heathrow airport under schedule seven of the 2000 Terrorism Act earlier in the day.

Britain’s ‘schedule seven’ law gives border officials the right to question someone “to determine if that individual is a person concerned in the commission, preparation or execution of acts of terrorism.”

A statement from the Guardian said it was “dismayed” at Miranda’s detention and that it would be pressing British authorities for an urgent clarification.

The Brazilian government complained about the detention of Miranda at Heathrow for nine hours incommunicado under Britains anti-terrorism laws.

“This measure has no justification since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can warrant the use of this legislation,” the Brazilian foreign ministry said in a statement.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Pope Francis on Homosexuals: ‘Who Am I to Judge?’.


Pope Francis
Pope Francis (Casa Rosada / Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Francis, in some of the most conciliatory words from any pontiff on gays, says they should not be judged or marginalized and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirms the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.

In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a weeklong visit to Brazil, Francis also said the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administrative and pastoral activities.

The pope expressed pain over scandals at the Vatican bank during a remarkably forthright press conference, his first since being elected in March to replace Benedict XVI, who became the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.

Francis said there were saints in the Holy See but also “those who are not very saintly.”

The airborne encounter with journalists ranged over issues as varied as the pope’s insistence on low-key security to his desire to slip out of the shackles of the Vatican to go for walks.

The pope arrived back in Rome on Monday after a triumphant weeklong tour of Brazil, which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro’s famed Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival, which organizers estimated to have attracted more than 3 million people.

Francis defended gays from discrimination but also referred to the Catholic Church’s universal catechism, which says that while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” the pope said.

“The catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalized because of this [orientation] but that they must be integrated into society,” he said, speaking in Italian.

“The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem,” he said.

Francis was answering a question about reports of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, after it suffered a string of scandals over pedophile priests and corruption in the administration of the Holy See.

“You see a lot written about the gay lobby. I still have not seen anyone in the Vatican with an identity card saying they are gay,” he joked.

‘No’ to Women Priests Is Definitive

Addressing the issue of women priests, the pope said, “The Church has spoken and says ‘no.’ … That door is closed.”

It was the first time he had spoken in public on the subject.

“We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity. There must be more,” he said in answer to a question.

“But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says ‘no.’ Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed,” he said, referring to a document by the late pontiff that said the ban was part of the infallible teaching of the Church.

The Church teaches it cannot ordain women because Jesus willingly chose only men as his apostles. Advocates of a female priesthood say He was acting according to the customs of His times.

Many in the Church, even those who oppose a female priesthood, say women should be given leadership roles in the Church and the Vatican administration.

The long session on the plane was highly unusual in the history of the modern papacy for both its candor and breadth.

Unlike his predecessor, Benedict, who knew in advance the few questions journalists would be allowed to ask, 76-year-old Francis, who as an Argentine is the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, imposed no restrictions as he fielded 21 questions.

He said his weeklong trip to Brazil left him very fatigued but “did [him] a lot of spiritual good.”

He spoke of reforms he had begun in the Vatican, which has been tarnished by a series of corruption scandals, including the Vatican bank, which is the target of several Italian money laundering investigations.

Francis said the bank must become “honest and transparent” and that he will listen to the advice of a commission he has set up on whether it can be reformed or should be closed altogether.

Francis referred directly to Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a Vatican prelate arrested last month on suspicion of attempting to smuggle 20 million euros into Italy from Switzerland.

“There are many people [in the Vatican] who are saints, but there are those who are not very saintly … and it pains me when this happens. There is this monsignor in jail. He didn’t go to jail because he resembled a saint. … These are scandals that do damage,” he said.

Francis, who in Brazil chose to ride in an open-sided popemobile or a simple Fiat, said he was not concerned about the reduced security he has chosen compared to his predecessors.

“Security lies in trusting people. It is true that there is always a danger that a crazy person might try to do something, but there is also the Lord,” he said, adding that he believed it would be even more crazy to be kept away from people.

Vatican security was greatly boosted after Pope John Paul was shot and nearly killed by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca on May 13, 1981, while he was riding in an open jeep in St. Peter’s Square.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.


Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Barry Moody and Mike Collett-White

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?.


Pope Francis made the comments on his return flight from Brazil

Pope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

He was responding to questions about whether there was a “gay lobby” in the Vatican.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?”

He also said he wanted a greater role for women in the Church, but insisted they could not be priests.

The Pope arrived back in Rome on Monday after a week-long tour of Brazil – his first trip abroad as pontiff – which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival.

Festival organisers estimated it attracted more than three million people.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

image of David WilleyDavid WilleyBBC News, Rome

Pope Francis’ unscripted remarks about gay people and about the essential role of women in the Church on his Vatican charter plane back from Brazil recall the many informal airborne news conferences held by Pope John Paul II during his worldwide journeys.

During the 1980s and 1990s, before his health declined, he used to mingle among reporters in the back of his plane, fielding questions in six languages.

By contrast, Pope Benedict, a shy academic, only replied to selected questions submitted in advance during his travels.

Pope Francis spoke only in Italian or Spanish to reporters, but displayed a sense of cheeky humour that’s rare among recent pontiffs. “You see a lot written about the gay lobby [in the Vatican].” he said. “I still have not yet seen anyone in the Vatican with an identity card saying they are gay.”

He defended gay people from discrimination but also quoted the distinction drawn by Catholic teaching between homosexual orientation – which is not regarded as sinful – and homosexual acts – which are.

His remarks on gay people are being seen as much less judgemental than his predecessor’s position on the issue.

Pope Benedict XVI signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests.

But Pope Francis said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well,” Pope Francis said in a wide-ranging 80-minute long interview with Vatican journalists.

“It says they should not be marginalised because of this but that they must be integrated into society.”

But he condemned what he described as lobbying by gay people.

“The problem is not having this orientation,” he said. “We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem.”

On the role of women in the Church, he said: “We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more.

“But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no… That door is closed.”

Answering questions about the troubled Vatican bank, he said the institution must become “honest and transparent” and that he would listen to advice on whether it could be reformed or should be shut down altogether.

“I don’t know what will become of the bank. Some say it is better that is a bank, others that it should be a charitable fund and others say close it,” he said.

‘Undisciplined’

Before leaving Brazil, Pope Francis gave a highly unusual one-to-one interview to a Brazilian TV programme.

The interview was shown on TV Globo‘s high-profile Sunday night documentary programme Fantastico, broadcast not long after the Pope departed for Rome.

The Pope was asked about the moment on his visit when his driver took a wrong turn and his vehicle was surrounded by crowds.

“I don’t feel afraid,” he answered. “I know that no-one dies before their time.

“I don’t want to see these people who have such a great heart from behind a glass box. The two security teams [from the Vatican and Brazil] worked very well. But I know that I am undisciplined in that respect.”

Asked about the recent protests by young people on the streets of Brazil, the Pope said: “The young person is essentially a non-conformist, and this is very beautiful.

“It is necessary to listen to young people, give them places to express themselves and to be careful that they aren’t manipulated.”

Asked about his simple lifestyle and use of a small car, he said it wasn’t a good example when a priest had the latest model of a car or a top brand.

“At this moment I believe God is asking us for more simplicity,” he added.

Pope Francis: Gays Shouldn’t Be Marginalized, Ban on Women Priests ‘Definitive’.


Image: Pope Francis: Gays Shouldn't Be Marginalized, Ban on Women Priests 'Definitive'

Pope Francis, in some of the most compassionate words from any pontiff on gays, said they should not be judged or marginalized and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a week-long visit to Brazil, Francis also said the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administration and pastoral activities.

Francis defended gays from discrimination in what was his first news conference since being elected pontiff in March, but also referred to the Catholic Church’s universal Catechism, which says that while homosexual orientation is not sinful homosexual acts are.

Urgent: Should the Pope change the Catholic Church?
“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” the pope said.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalized because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society,” he said, speaking in Italian.

“The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem,” he said.

Francis was answering a question about reports of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican.

“You see a lot written about the gay lobby. I still have not seen anyone in the Vatican with an identity card saying they are gay,” he joked.

Addressing the issue of women priests, the pope said, “The Church has spoken and says ‘no’ … that door is closed.” It was the first time he had spoken in public on the subject.

“We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more …,” he said in answer to a question during a remarkably frank conversation with Vatican journalists.

“But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no. Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed,” he said referring to a document by the late pontiff which said the ban was part of the infallible teaching of the Church.

The Church teaches that it cannot ordain women because Jesus willingly chose only men as his apostles. Advocates of a female priesthood say he was acting according to the customs of his times.

Many in the Church, even those who oppose a female priesthood, say women should be given leadership roles in the Church and the Vatican administration.

Francis arrived back in Rome on Monday after a triumphant week-long tour of Brazil which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro’s famed Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival which organisers estimated to have attracted more than 3 million people.
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: NEWSmax.com

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