Pope Francis named Man of the Year by Vanity Fair

“A miracle of humility in an era of vanity” says Elton John.

Italy:

Pope Francis has been named Man of the Year by Vanity Fair’s Italian edition in recognition of his words and deeds during his first one hundred days as pontiff. The magazine’s front cover features the 76-year-old Pope Francis waving at a crowd, dressed simply in plain white robes and a white skull cap.

The article begins by quoting Pope Francis’ March 28 invocation for priests to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep,” and goes on to feature the praise of five celebrities about him, including Sir Elton John and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

Elton John warmly said, “Francis is a miracle of humility in an era of vanity,” and went on to say that he hoped the Pope’s message of compassion would extend to marginalized groups which “have a desperate need of his love,” including gays and lesbians. Despite the Vatican’s historically steadfast stance on issues like gay marriage, Sir John, who has been in a civil partnership since 2005, expressed his hope that Pope Francis could “reach out to children, women, men who live with HIV and AIDS — often alone, and hidden away in silence.”

“His first one hundred days have already placed him in the category of world leaders who make history,” said Vanity Fair. “But the revolution continues.”

Source: Huffington Post

Pope Francis ,Pope Named ,Vatican City ,Man Of The Year ,Vanity Fair 
English: Elton John attending the premiere of ...

English: Elton John attending the premiere of The Union at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Advertisements

Pope tightens laws to crack down on sex abuse, leaks

ZERO TOLERANCE

Report in TOI….12th, July, 2013

Vatican City: Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican City State on Thursday, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison. The legislation covers clergy and lay people who live and work in Vatican City and is different from the canon law which covers the universal Catholic Church.
The bulk of the Vatican’s penal code is based on the 1889 Italian code. Many of the new provisions were necessary to bring the city state’s legal system up to date after the Holy See signed international treaties, such as theUN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Others were necessary to comply with international norms to fight money-laundering, part of the Vatican’s push toward financial transparency.
One new crime stands out, though, as an obvious response to the leaks of papal documents last year that represented one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times.
Paolo Gabriele, the butler for then-Pope Benedict XVI, was tried and convicted by a Vatican court of stealing Benedict’s personal papers and giving them to an Italian journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi.
In an indication of how serious the Vatican considers such confidentiality, the penalties for violations of the new law are stiff: Anyone who reveals or receives confidential information or documentation risks six months to two years in prison and a €2,000 ($2,500) fine; the penalty goes up to eight years in prison if the material concerns the “fundamental interests” of the Holy See or its diplomatic relations with other countries. PTI

 

Christians suffer as politicians chase the Hindu vote

 

 

India’s political opponents unite in targeting the Church.

 

 

 

By John Dayal
New Delhi:

India’s microscopic Christian community and its clergy may become “collateral damage” in an unspoken but very palpable competitive wooing of the majority Hindu community in the run-up to next year’s general election, as well as the preceding elections to the state legislative assemblies.

The political trend can be seen in three states. Maharashtra is understood to be planning a law to criminalize conversions, while the Himachal Pradesh government is aiming to reverse a High Court judgment that earlier deleted some of the more vicious components of its anti-conversion law.

This notorious law forced citizens and their pastors to give a month’s notice to the state authorities and then await their decision before they could formally profess the faith. Despite the High Court ban, neighboring Madhya Pradesh now wants to incorporate it into its existing, ironically named Freedom of Religion Act.

In fact it goes a step further and wants the police to launch mandatory enquires into why a person wants to change his faith and leave the Hindu fold. Four year jail terms and 100,000-rupee (US$1,700) fines are in the offing for pastors who break the law.

In the 1960s, Madhya Pradesh was among the first Indian states, with Orissa and Arunachal Pradesh, to seek a curb on conversions to Christianity. Ruled by the BJP (Indian People’s Party), it has now gone entirely overboard on the Hindu-centric agenda of its ideological parent, the RSS (National Volunteers Association.) Their prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has made it clear where his priorities lie, wasting no opportunity to stress his support for the Hindu heartland.

The mainstay of the ruling Congress Party’s political platform has always been a non-partisan ideology, with affirmative action for the poor, the marginalized, religious minorities, tribals and dalits. But it is no secret that Congress also harbors majoritarian elements which can surface any time the party has to seek the Hindu vote.

What complicates the politics of these moves against conversions — and the phrase is generally understood to mean conversion to Christianity, and not to Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism — is the focus on Christian preachers and evangelists.

Since Indian independence, Islam has not really been involved in proselytizing, with its numbers growing only through birth. There have been many instances of Hindus converting to Sikhism, while conversions to Buddhism take place on a mass scale from the ranks of the dalits, who are then called Ambedkarites or neo-Buddhists. As many as 50,000 have been converted in one single event.

RSS supporters in the tribal areas routinely convert animistic and Christian tribals to Hinduism, under what they call their Ghar Wapsi program, which translates as “homecoming to faith.” There has been no legal action ever against this.

In states where the police and the subordinate bureaucracy are known to be bigoted and partisan, anti-conversion laws can become extremely punitive. Human rights activists have often pointed out that such laws encourage the persecution and victimization of the Christian community, especially of the clergy.

The Church does not seem to have anticipated this. It has no thesis for a united pre-emptive challenge to such laws. Individual groups go to court, but it is not an easy process. Some sections of the Church, in fact, are quick to blame Pentecostal groups for inviting such laws by their provocative evangelization. Others seem ready to sue for peace and are already making overtures to the BJP: the YMCA feted Narendra Modi at a function in Ahmedabad last month.

The last time the Church voiced its anger was when then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee called for a “national debate on conversions,” and the Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Alan de Lastic challenged him, pointing out that such talk encouraged violence against hapless Christians in the country.

It remains to be seen how the Church will respond now.

John Dayal is the general-secretary of the All India Christian Council and a member of the Indian government’s National Integration Council.

Source: ucanews.com

 

Christians Suffer ,New Delhi ,Minorites ,Politicians ,Hindu Vote 

 

 

Map of India showing location of Madhya Pradesh

Map of India showing location of Madhya Pradesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: