Category Archives: Religion

Houston Chosen For First Ismaili Center In United States

Houston will soon be home to the first Ismaili Center in the United States.

There are six other centers around the world — in London, Vancouver, Toronto, Lisbon, Dubai and Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The center will be located on the corner of Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard. The Ismaili Center will also house a Jamatkhana, which is a “place for spiritual contemplation and prayers for the Ismailis.”

Ismaili Muslims are a part of a culturally diverse community occupying more than 25 countries. According to a news release, they “express their values through betterment of self and society, search for knowledge, embracing pluralism, building peace and working to build and improve communities.”

The Ismailis estimate there are 20 million individuals in its community, making it the second-largest in the Shiite branch of Islam.

“The Ismaili Center will be a place where Houstonians of all backgrounds, faiths, and walks of life will find engaging, thoughtful, and compassionate programs, and people. That will be in keeping with Ismaili values and the values of the Ismaili leader, the Aga Khan, who last visited Houston in March 2018,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “It’s fitting that the Center will be designed by a world renowned architect who has lived, studied and worked around the world, and that the green space will be designed by a landscape architect who has already worked on a major Houston park. This is a milestone for our city.”

Farshid Moussavi will be the architect for the center.

The Ismailis have a 1,400-year history that traces succession from Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad.

Currently, the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary imam of the global Ismaili Muslim community.

Ismaili Centers are architecturally unique and each building includes space for “gatherings, intellectual engagement and reflection, as well as spiritual contemplation.”

“A central purpose of the Ismaili Centers is to encourage mutual exchanges and understanding between diverse peoples, communities and faiths. The Centers are, therefore, not only places for spiritual search, but also spaces for broadening intellectual horizons and fostering an appreciation of pluralism,” a news release said.

There is an Ismaili Jamatkhana in Sugar Land, which hosts more than 50 outreach programs for the Houston community.

Source: by Cory McCord | Click2Houston

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Inside World Of Sexually Abusive Nuns

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Mary Dispenza and Cait Finnegan, who were sexually abused by nuns AP; Cait Finnegan

(New York Post) It’s the line from Scripture that stayed with Cait Finnegan for nearly half a century as she tried to suppress the painful memories of the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her Catholic clergy educator.

“God is Love,” Sister Mary Juanita Barto told Finnegan as she repeatedly raped her in classrooms at Mater Christi High School in Queens in the late 1960s.

The abuse began when Finnegan was 15 and continued throughout her high school years — on school buses to out-of-town sporting events, at religious retreats in upstate New York, at Finnegan’s childhood home in Woodside and at a Long Island convent.

“She was obsessed with me 24 hours a day,” Finnegan, now 67, told The Post. “The woman owned me.”

After graduating high school in 1969, Finnegan struggled to deal with the abuse and tell her story, but her efforts fell on deaf ears.

“Nobody wanted to hear about the Vestal Virgins back then,” she said.

But after Pope Francis recently made the bombshell admission that some nuns were abused by priests and even used as sex slaves, dozens of Catholics have come forward to report a tangential, and just as evil, phenomenon — sexual abuse by nuns.

“This is the next big thing for the church — the biggest untold secret,” Mary Dispenza, a director at Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a St. Louis-based advocacy group.

“In the past, victims were very much ashamed and afraid to tell their stories, but they are starting to come forward and we are expecting that this may be as big as the priest abuse scandal.”

The group has heard from 35 people in the last several days who claim they were physically and sexually abused by nuns, said Dispenza, a former nun who claims she was abused as a young girl by both a priest and a nun. Finnegan told The Post she approached SNAP for support a few years earlier.

Dispenza, 78, has fought for more than two decades for justice for victims of clergy abuse and plans to take her fight to the Vatican on Monday. She and her group are demanding the pope help victims of nun abuse and fire anyone who has covered up crimes by Catholic clergy.

“We want them gone immediately,” she said.

She also wants the Vatican to require Catholic leaders to contact police right away if they are confronted with abuse, rather than alerting local bishops or other church hierarchy first.

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Sister Mary Juanita Barto and Cait Finnegan in high school

And in states where the statute of limitations has been amended to allow victims of sexual abuse to file complaints, SNAP is urging them — some now in their 60s and 70s — to file claims against their alleged abusers.

“Finally, they will have a chance at justice,” she said.

Last week, New York opened up a window for old cases with the passage of the Child Victims Act. The measure, which had languished in Albany for more than a decade, allows a one-year window for alleged victims to file lawsuits against their attackers, no matter when the abuse occurred.

Before the new law, New York had one of the most restrictive statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. Victims now have until age 55 to file civil suits and can press for criminal charges until age 28. The old statute capped lawsuits at age 23.

Dispenza, who spent 15 years in a habit before becoming an activist against the Catholic Church, is bracing for an onslaught of cases against nuns, who typically run schools and orphanages, and spend exponentially more time with children than priests do.

“They are with kids at school every day from 9 to 3,” she said.

They also far outnumber priests. There are 55,944 nuns in the US and 41,406 priests, according to statistics compiled by SNAP.

Eight years ago, when a handful of victims of nun abuse came forward to SNAP, Dispenza urged the Chicago-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic nuns, to address the issue and reach out to victims of nun abuse. The group refused to put the issue on the agendas of their annual meetings, Dispenza told The Post.

A spokeswoman for LCWR refused to discuss how many victims of nun abuse had reached out to them, and referred to a statement on the group’s website that reads in part, “We encourage persons with grievances involving allegations of sexual misconduct by a woman religious to approach the individual religious congregation involved. We believe that it is at this level that true healing can begin.”

Before the new law, New York had one of the most restrictive statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. Victims now have until age 55 to file civil suits and can press for criminal charges until age 28. The old statute capped lawsuits at age 23.

Dispenza, who spent 15 years in a habit before becoming an activist against the Catholic Church, is bracing for an onslaught of cases against nuns, who typically run schools and orphanages, and spend exponentially more time with children than priests do.

“They are with kids at school every day from 9 to 3,” she said.

They also far outnumber priests. There are 55,944 nuns in the US and 41,406 priests, according to statistics compiled by SNAP.

Eight years ago, when a handful of victims of nun abuse came forward to SNAP, Dispenza urged the Chicago-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic nuns, to address the issue and reach out to victims of nun abuse. The group refused to put the issue on the agendas of their annual meetings, Dispenza told The Post.

A spokeswoman for LCWR refused to discuss how many victims of nun abuse had reached out to them, and referred to a statement on the group’s website that reads in part, “We encourage persons with grievances involving allegations of sexual misconduct by a woman religious to approach the individual religious congregation involved. We believe that it is at this level that true healing can begin.”

In her 2014 memoir, “Split: A Child, a Priest and the Catholic Church,” Dispenza details the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of a Catholic priest in the gritty East Los Angeles neighborhood where she grew up. Despite the childhood rapes by the priest — who was trusted by her family — Dispenza decided to become a nun, only to be faced with similar abuse from a superior sister while she was a novitiate.

“She took my face in her two hands, and kissed me all over my face,” she recalled of the encounter in a convent she would not name. “And then I just remember leaving. I felt the same way I felt as a child. I felt lost, I felt abandoned, I felt confused, I felt alone.”

Finnegan said she also felt alone, and was unable to speak of the abuse she endured by Sister Mary Juanita, who “vowed to chastity as she raped me.”

Finnegan, a widow whose husband was a former Catholic priest, now lives in Pennsylvania, where she has run a group home for needy children and is the minister of the Celtic Christian Church.

Although her alleged abuser died in 2014, Finnegan said she still cannot bring herself to discuss the abuse openly, even after years of therapy and writing in her “Abuse by nuns” blog.

“Well, the little girl in me wept because that kid had longed for Juanita to be a spiritual mother to me … that’s how I loved her, as a mother,” she wrote. “I remember when I met her I thought she was so smart and holy, oh yeah, and funny. Wrong.”

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Mary Dispenza when she was a nun

She said she never told her father — “I was afraid of what he would do to the nun when he found out” — and only summoned up the courage to tell her mother of the trauma just before her death in 2002.

“Sexual abuse leaves scars that last for life,” she wrote on the blog. “Dealing with those wounds and scars, and surviving through daily life is a challenge for many of us. Silence sometimes is a kind of defense which allows victims to hide from the pain (for a while).”

Some of her therapy was paid for by the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Mary Juanita’s religious order that has its origins in 19th-century Ireland and now ministers to the poor around the world. The Sisters of Mercy taught the girls at her high school; the boys were taught by the Christian Brothers. In 1981, the school became the co-ed St. John’s Prep.

Finnegan said she has suffered PTSD and anxiety for most of her adult life and has turned to prayer and research on sexual abuse to try to forgive what was done to her. She will not describe in any detail how she was raped.

“More than 14 percent of nuns have been sexually abused themselves,” said Finnegan. “It’s this unattended rage they live with. It’s going to come out as physical abuse of children and sexual abuse. I believe it’s what turns so many of them into nasty bitches in the convent.”

When Finnegan finally summoned up the courage to confront Sister Mary Juanita in the early 1990s — more than 20 years after graduating high school in 1969 — she found herself tongue-tied.

“I froze and became that 15-year-old kid again,” she said. “I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move.”

She was even too nervous to enter her office at a Long Island convent.

“Sorry, I have to go,” she told the nun who had terrified her. And then she left.

Source: by Isabel Vincent | New York Post

SHOCK: Pope Francis Acknowledges That Priests Abused Nuns, Forced Some Into ‘Sexual Slavery’

Pope Francis shocked millions Tuesday when he revealed for the first time that the Vatican is investigating claims that priests have sexually abused nuns, and that, in at least one order in France, the priest in charge kept religious sisters as “sexual slaves” for himself and other affiliated priests, the Associated Press reports.

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The Pontiff spoke with reporters aboard the Papal plane en route to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where he is due to become the first Pope to visit that nation’s increasing Catholic population made up mostly of guest workers from the Philippines and from India.

The issue of priests abusing nuns is not new — Pope Francis admitted as much while speaking to reporters, acknowledging that much of the effort taken to investigate and punish the French congregation happened under his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

But the Pontiff did reveal that the Vatican is still handling cases of the priestly abuse of nuns as they emerge, and newspapers around the globe have recently reported similar stories of priestly abuse in “India, Africa, Europe and South America.”

“Asked if any universal norms might be in the works to tackle the problem — as has been done to handle cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors — Francis implied that the priestly abuse of nuns was still being dealt with on a case-by-case basis,” the AP reported.

“There are cases, usually in new congregations and in some regions more than others,” Pope Francis told reporters. “We’re working on it. Pray that this goes forward. I want it to go forward.”

The Vatican is still struggling against claims they aren’t doing enough to address a widespread sexual abuse problem within the Catholic Church, regardless of the Pope’s seeming commitment to investigating and neutralizing abusers within the Church’s ranks,

In the United States, despite years devoted to uncovering and handling cases of priestly sexual abuse by minors, members of the Church heirarchy including former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, have been accused of sexually abusing young priests and seminarians as both the Church’s American leadership and the Vatican stood idly by.

Over the summer, Archibishop Carlo Maria Vigano accused Pope Francis of knowing about McCarrick’s transgressions and rehabilitating his image within the Vatican heirarchy, even promoting McCarrick to the position of senior advisor to the Pope, upending longstanding restrictions placed against McCarrick by Pope Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

The Pope has also been accused of turning a blind eye to priestly abuse in his home country of Argentina, and even smearing an abuser’s victims in order to avoid scandal according to Catholic publication, CruxNow.

Efforts at internal reform also appear to have stalled. The United States’ bishops conference presented a plan to tackle abuse within the heiarchy of the Church to the Vatican late last year, but the Pope refused to sign off on the plan, and did not allow the bishops to discuss how to proceed against abusers within their own ranks. A January meeting of U.S. bishops came and went without any discussion of the sexual abuse problem dogging the Church.

Worse still, acccording to CNN the Vatican has downplayed expectations for a highly anticipated global meeting of bishops slated to take place in February, where they were supposed to discuss the sexual abuse scandals and formulate a global plan of attack. Instead of handling the crisis head on, the Pope told reporters last month, the conference is now designed to build “awareness” among bishops who are unfamilar with the issue.

Source: by Emily Zanotti | Daily Wire

 

‘One World Religion’ Looms As Pope & Islam’s Top Imam Sign Historic Covenant

A historic interfaith covenant was signed in the Middle East on Monday, and the mainstream media in the United States has been almost entirely silent about it.

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Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is considered to be the most important imam in Sunni Islam, and he arrived at the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi with Pope Francis “hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood”.  But this wasn’t just a ceremony for Catholics and Muslims.  According to a British news source, the signing of this covenant was done “in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths”…

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s Catholics, and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning, arrived at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood.

In other words, there was a concerted effort to make sure that all of the religions of the world were represented at this gathering.

According to the official Vatican website, a tremendous amount of preparation went in to the drafting of this document, and it encourages believers from all religions “to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray” with one another…

The document, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, was prepared “with much reflection and prayer”, the Pope said. The one great danger at this moment, he continued, is “destruction, war, hatred between us.” “If we believers are not able to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another, and even pray, our faith will be defeated”, he said. The Pope explained that the document “is born of faith in God who is the Father of all and the Father of peace; it condemns all destruction, all terrorism, from the first terrorism in history, that of Cain.”

There is a lot of language about peace in this document, but it goes way beyond just advocating for peace.

Over and over again, the word “God” is used to simultaneously identify Allah and the God of Christianity.  Here is just one example…

We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

On top of that, the document also boldly declares that “the diversity of religions” that we see in the world was “willed by God”…

Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

In essence, this is saying that it is the will of God that there are hundreds of different religions in the world and that they are all acceptable in His sight.

We know that the elite want a one world religion, but to see the most important clerics from both Catholicism and Islam make such a dramatic public push for it is absolutely stunning.

You can find the full text of the covenant that they signed on the official Vatican website.  I have also reproduced the entire document below…

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INTRODUCTION

Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need.

This transcendental value served as the starting point for several meetings characterized by a friendly and fraternal atmosphere where we shared the joys, sorrows and problems of our contemporary world. We did this by considering scientific and technical progress, therapeutic achievements, the digital era, the mass media and communications. We reflected also on the level of poverty, conflict and suffering of so many brothers and sisters in different parts of the world as a consequence of the arms race, social injustice, corruption, inequality, moral decline, terrorism, discrimination, extremism and many other causes.

From our fraternal and open discussions, and from the meeting that expressed profound hope in a bright future for all human beings, the idea of this Document on Human Fraternity was conceived. It is a text that has been given honest and serious thought so as to be a joint declaration of good and heartfelt aspirations. It is a document that invites all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.

DOCUMENT

In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth and make known the values of goodness, love and peace;

In the name of innocent human life that God has forbidden to kill, affirming that whoever kills a person is like one who kills the whole of humanity, and that whoever saves a person is like one who saves the whole of humanity;

In the name of the poor, the destitute, the marginalized and those most in need whom God has commanded us to help as a duty required of all persons, especially the wealthy and of means;

In the name of orphans, widows, refugees and those exiled from their homes and their countries; in the name of all victims of wars, persecution and injustice; in the name of the weak, those who live in fear, prisoners of war and those tortured in any part of the world, without distinction;

In the name of peoples who have lost their security, peace, and the possibility of living together, becoming victims of destruction, calamity and war;

In the name of human fraternity that embraces all human beings, unites them and renders them equal;

In the name of this fraternity torn apart by policies of extremism and division, by systems of unrestrained profit or by hateful ideological tendencies that manipulate the actions and the future of men and women;

In the name of freedom, that God has given to all human beings creating them free and distinguishing them by this gift;

In the name of justice and mercy, the foundations of prosperity and the cornerstone of faith;

In the name of all persons of good will present in every part of the world;

In the name of God and of everything stated thus far; Al-Azhar al-Sharif and the Muslims of the East and West, together with the Catholic Church and the Catholics of the East and West, declare the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.

We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgment, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

We call upon intellectuals, philosophers, religious figures, artists, media professionals and men and women of culture in every part of the world, to rediscover the values of peace, justice, goodness, beauty, human fraternity and coexistence in order to confirm the importance of these values as anchors of salvation for all, and to promote them everywhere.

This Declaration, setting out from a profound consideration of our contemporary reality, valuing its successes and in solidarity with its suffering, disasters and calamities, believes firmly that among the most important causes of the crises of the modern world are a desensitized human conscience, a distancing from religious values and a prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies that deify the human person and introduce worldly and material values in place of supreme and transcendental principles.

While recognizing the positive steps taken by our modern civilization in the fields of science, technology, medicine, industry and welfare, especially in developed countries, we wish to emphasize that, associated with such historic advancements, great and valued as they are, there exists both a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility. All this contributes to a general feeling of frustration, isolation and desperation leading many to fall either into a vortex of atheistic, agnostic or religious extremism, or into blind and fanatic extremism, which ultimately encourage forms of dependency and individual or collective self-destruction.

History shows that religious extremism, national extremism and also intolerance have produced in the world, be it in the East or West, what might be referred to as signs of a “third world war being fought piecemeal”. In several parts of the world and in many tragic circumstances these signs have begun to be painfully apparent, as in those situations where the precise number of victims, widows and orphans is unknown. We see, in addition, other regions preparing to become theatres of new conflicts, with outbreaks of tension and a build-up of arms and ammunition, and all this in a global context overshadowed by uncertainty, disillusionment, fear of the future, and controlled by narrow-minded economic interests.

We likewise affirm that major political crises, situations of injustice and lack of equitable distribution of natural resources – which only a rich minority benefit from, to the detriment of the majority of the peoples of the earth – have generated, and continue to generate, vast numbers of poor, infirm and deceased persons. This leads to catastrophic crises that various countries have fallen victim to despite their natural resources and the resourcefulness of young people which characterize these nations. In the face of such crises that result in the deaths of millions of children – wasted away from poverty and hunger – there is an unacceptable silence on the international level.

It is clear in this context how the family as the fundamental nucleus of society and humanity is essential in bringing children into the world, raising them, educating them, and providing them with solid moral formation and domestic security. To attack the institution of the family, to regard it with contempt or to doubt its important role, is one of the most threatening evils of our era.

We affirm also the importance of awakening religious awareness and the need to revive this awareness in the hearts of new generations through sound education and an adherence to moral values and upright religious teachings. In this way we can confront tendencies that are individualistic, selfish, conflicting, and also address radicalism and blind extremism in all its forms and expressions.

The first and most important aim of religions is to believe in God, to honour Him and to invite all men and women to believe that this universe depends on a God who governs it. He is the Creator who has formed us with His divine wisdom and has granted us the gift of life to protect it. It is a gift that no one has the right to take away, threaten or manipulate to suit oneself. Indeed, everyone must safeguard this gift of life from its beginning up to its natural end. We therefore condemn all those practices that are a threat to life such as genocide, acts of terrorism, forced displacement, human trafficking, abortion and euthanasia. We likewise condemn the policies that promote these practices.

Moreover, we resolutely declare that religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism, nor must they incite violence or the shedding of blood. These tragic realities are the consequence of a deviation from religious teachings. They result from a political manipulation of religions and from interpretations made by religious groups who, in the course of history, have taken advantage of the power of religious sentiment in the hearts of men and women in order to make them act in a way that has nothing to do with the truth of religion. This is done for the purpose of achieving objectives that are political, economic, worldly and short-sighted. We thus call upon all concerned to stop using religions to incite hatred, violence, extremism and blind fanaticism, and to refrain from using the name of God to justify acts of murder, exile, terrorism and oppression. We ask this on the basis of our common belief in God who did not create men and women to be killed or to fight one another, nor to be tortured or humiliated in their lives and circumstances. God, the Almighty, has no need to be defended by anyone and does not want His name to be used to terrorize people.

This Document, in accordance with previous International Documents that have emphasized the importance of the role of religions in the construction of world peace, upholds the following:

– The firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding,human fraternity and harmonious coexistence; to re-establish wisdom, justice and love; and to reawaken religious awareness among young people so that future generations may be protected from the realm of materialistic thinking and from dangerous policies of unbridled greed and indifference that are based on the law of force and not on the force of law;

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– Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept;

– Justice based on mercy is the path to follow in order to achieve a dignified life to which every human being has a right;

– Dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity;

– Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human and shared social values and, from here, transmitting the highest moral virtues that religions aim for. It also means avoiding unproductive discussions;

– The protection of places of worship – synagogues, churches and mosques – is a duty guaranteed by religions, human values, laws and international agreements. Every attempt to attack places of worship or threaten them by violent assaults, bombings or destruction, is a deviation from the teachings of religions as well as a clear violation of international law;

– Terrorism is deplorable and threatens the security of people, be they in the East or the West, the North or the South, and disseminates panic, terror and pessimism, but this is not due to religion, even when terrorists instrumentalize it. It is due, rather, to an accumulation of incorrect interpretations of religious texts and to policies linked to hunger, poverty, injustice, oppression and pride. This is why it is so necessary to stop supporting terrorist movements fuelled by financing, the provision of weapons and strategy, and by attempts to justify these movements even using the media. All these must be regarded as international crimes that threaten security and world peace. Such terrorism must be condemned in all its forms and expressions;

– The concept of citizenship is based on the equality of rights and duties, under which all enjoy justice. It is therefore crucial to establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship and reject the discriminatory use of the term minorities which engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority. Its misuse paves the way for hostility and discord; it undoes any successes and takes away the religious and civil rights of some citizens who are thus discriminated against;

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– Good relations between East and West are indisputably necessary for both. They must not be neglected, so that each can be enriched by the other’s culture through fruitful exchange and dialogue. The West can discover in the East remedies for those spiritual and religious maladies that are caused by a prevailing materialism. And the East can find in the West many elements that can help free it from weakness, division, conflict and scientific, technical and cultural decline. It is important to pay attention to religious, cultural and historical differences that are a vital component in shaping the character, culture and civilization of the East. It is likewise important to reinforce the bond of fundamental human rights in order to help ensure a dignified life for all the men and women of East and West, avoiding the politics of double standards;

– It is an essential requirement to recognize the right of women to education and employment, and to recognize their freedom to exercise their own political rights. Moreover, efforts must be made to free women from historical and social conditioning that runs contrary to the principles of their faith and dignity. It is also necessary to protect women from sexual exploitation and from being treated as merchandise or objects of pleasure or financial gain. Accordingly, an end must be brought to all those inhuman and vulgar practices that denigrate the dignity of women. Efforts must be made to modify those laws that prevent women from fully enjoying their rights;

– The protection of the fundamental rights of children to grow up in a family environment, to receive nutrition, education and support, are duties of the family and society. Such duties must be guaranteed and protected so that they are not overlooked or denied to any child in any part of the world. All those practices that violate the dignity and rights of children must be denounced. It is equally important to be vigilant against the dangers that they are exposed to, particularly in the digital world, and to consider as a crime the trafficking of their innocence and all violations of their youth;

– The protection of the rights of the elderly, the weak, the disabled, and the oppressed is a religious and social obligation that must be guaranteed and defended through strict legislation and the implementation of the relevant international agreements.

To this end, by mutual cooperation, the Catholic Church and Al-Azhar announce and pledge to convey this Document to authorities, influential leaders, persons of religion all over the world, appropriate regional and international organizations, organizations within civil society, religious institutions and leading thinkers. They further pledge to make known the principles contained in this Declaration at all regional and international levels, while requesting that these principles be translated into policies, decisions, legislative texts, courses of study and materials to be circulated.

Al-Azhar and the Catholic Church ask that this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation, thus helping to educate new generations to bring goodness and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.

In conclusion, our aspiration is that:

this Declaration may constitute an invitation to reconciliation and fraternity among all believers, indeed among believers and non-believers, and among all people of good will;

this Declaration may be an appeal to every upright conscience that rejects deplorable violence and blind extremism; an appeal to those who cherish the values of tolerance and fraternity that are promoted and encouraged by religions;

this Declaration may be a witness to the greatness of faith in God that unites divided hearts and elevates the human soul;

this Declaration may be a sign of the closeness between East and West, between North and South, and between all who believe that God has created us to understand one another, cooperate with one another and live as brothers and sisters who love one another.

This is what we hope and seek to achieve with the aim of finding a universal peace that all can enjoy in this life.

Abu Dhabi, 4 february 2019

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Source: by Michael Snyder | ZeroHedge

Church World Service Sets Up Hotline to Connect Illegal Aliens to Sanctuary Locations in US

And, they’re doing their ‘good works’ with your money!

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(Ann Corcoran) This (below) is the news that prompted me to check in with the financial doings of Church World Service, one of nine federal refugee contractors that the Trump Administration continues to support.

What I found is that their ‘take’ of your money has increased almost $20 million during the past couple years.

In the most recent Form 990 available (filed June 30, 2017) they were awarded $68 million from the US Treasury, up from $50 million just two years earlier.

First here is the story from ReliefWeb that got my attention:

Note their continued use of the word “refugee.”

None of those crossing the US border illegally are refugees.  They won’t be refugees until they apply for and go through an asylum process and it is determined that they would be persecuted if returned home.  And, that is, if they ever show up for their asylum hearing!

New York City– Church World Service today announced the launch of the CWS Resource Call Center to connect refugee families after they are released from immigration detention with support for their onward journeys.The call center, which will be available to asylum-seekers, asylees and refugees, is an ecumenical effort that will connect callers to CWS affiliate offices, CWS member congregations, and Sanctuary Churches in the communities they are traveling to who can provide local support through housing, resource sharing and friendship.

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Doing well by doing good (on your tax dollars)! The good Reverend pulls down a compensation package of over $345,000 annually (see below) as head honcho of CWS.

CWS has partnered with a network of migrant shelters along the U.S. southern border to provide the 1-800 number to asylum seekers who are preparing to travel to a secondary destination.

“We have heard the cries of families seeking safety at the border and watched in horror as the administration has tried to deny them their legal right to seek safety.

These families should be welcomed with the compassion and generosity that is the cornerstone of American values and Christian faith. With this new call center, people of faith around the country are stepping up to welcome asylum seekers into their communities and provide the assistance they need to start over,” said CWS President & CEO Rev. John L. McCullough.

[….]

The call center will also link people interested in providing support to asylum seekers by strategically connecting them to border shelters and receiving communities. Interested supporters can contact the call center by emailing resourcecenter@cwsglobal.org.

 

More here and to access their hot links.

Click here to see Church World Service’s partner churches. Is yours one of them?

Some facts you need to see.

When I saw this story I first had a look at ProPublica which has a Non-Profit Explorer service so reporters and the public can ostensibly get the facts.  This is a screen shot of recent data on Church World Service.

https://fraudscrookscriminals.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/screenshot-850_li.jpg?w=624&h=432See the $93 million in contributions! The average citizen or lazy biased reporter is going to assume they received all of that money from generous church goers, private citizens, and private companies and charities, right!

Below is what CWS and ProPublica don’t want you to see.

This is a page from the most recent Form 990 which breaks out the GOVERNMENT (taxpayer) gifts to CWS.

https://fraudscrookscriminals.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/screenshot-854_li.jpg?w=625Add the $68+ million in government grants to the $24+ million they raised privately and it comes to the $93 million that ProPublica wants everyone to think they raised from the generosity of good church people.

Notice how their government grants are higher than two years before.

https://fraudscrookscriminals.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/screenshot-852_li.jpg?w=623&h=288Notice that their private contributions haven’t changed much except that they were a bit higher in this earlier year.

And, just so you know I’m telling the truth about the Reverend’s whopping salary, this is from that most recent Form 990 I linked above.

https://fraudscrookscriminals.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/screenshot-856.png?w=625Nice work if you can get it! Forty hour work week=about $166 an hour.

Charity Navigator has CWS at about 74% federally funded while they work hard to distribute illegal border-crossers to far-flung US towns and cities.

You will never see this news in the media anywhere but (here), and the unfairness of this scam should infuriate you!

What can you do?  You need to spread this news through social media and if your church denomination is one of those in bed with Church World Service, please speak up!

(If you’re doing a crop walk event, then your church is aiding CWS’s political open borders agenda.)

‘Jewish Terror’: Settler Attacks against Palestinians TRIPLED last year

https://cdni.rt.com/files/2019.01/xxl/5c39fa88dda4c8cb148b457d.JPGJewish Settlers throw stones at a Palestinian home, FILE PHOTO. © Mussa Qawasma

In what has been dubbed the ‘Jewish Terror’, settler attacks on Palestinians and their property tripled last year, with nearly 500 incidents reported ranging from racist graffiti, to assault, to the destruction of olive trees.

According to figures reported by Haaretz, there were 482 politically motivated crimes carried out by settlers in the West Bank last year, compared to 140 in 2017. It’s the highest number of incidents in four years.

These attacks frequently include assaults and stone throwing. The most common episodes have seen racist, nationalistic, and anti-Muslim graffiti spray painted around Palestinian neighborhoods and on property, with about 540 vehicles damaged.

The attackers have also targeted olive trees and grapevines. Around 7,900 trees were destroyed or damaged in what is seen as a calculated attack on the livelihood of many Palestinians, who rely on the trees for their income.

Settlers often frame these incidents as “price tag” attacks, a form of retaliation for Palestinian violence and Israeli government policies they perceive as threatening their settlements. Some attacks are used as a form of intimidation in a bid to capture more Palestinian land.

There are between 500,000 and 600,000 Israeli settlers living in the occupied West Bank in settlements that are considered illegal under international law.

Jewish Settlers assault Palestinian farmers, al-Mughayir, Ramallah District, 22 March 2018

In October, settlers killed Aisha Rabi, a mother of eight, when they threw a large rock at the car she was in. A week before that incident, a Palestinian man killed two Israeli settlers in a factory where they all worked.

The spike in attacks was also backed up by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which recorded 265 incidents in which Israeli settlers killed (3) or injured (115) Palestinians or damaged Palestinian property, up to mid-December last year. This represents a 69-percent increase compared with 2017.

Between December 18-31, the OCHA reported 12 Palestinians were injured and at least 380 trees and 69 vehicles were vandalized in 14 incidents of settler violence.

Meanwhile, the OCHA reports a 28-percent decrease in incidents of violence carried out by Palestinians in the West Bank, with 181 incidents reported. However, seven Israelis were killed in 2018, compared to four in 2017.

Members of the hardline group of settlers dubbed the ‘Hilltop Youth’ are said to be responsible for a chunk of the attacks on Palestinians. The settlers, many of whom are teenagers, reside in illegal settlement outposts (settlements that even the Israeli government considers illegal) largely in the Shiloh Valley, where many of the attacks took place.

https://images1.ynet.co.il/PicServer4/2015/12/03/6673367/66733590993567640360no.jpgJewish Hilltop Youth Gang in a Facebook post at their Habaladim outpost

“The hilltop youth are less deterred than before and are feeling emboldened,” an Israeli defense official told the Times of Israel.

Settler violence was at its peak in 2014, but numbers fell in the aftermath of a firebomb attack on a home in Duma in 2015, which killed three members of the Dawabshe family including an 18-month-old, and left a four-year-old boy as the only survivor, with burns to 85 percent of his body.

Israeli authorities clamped down on a circle of far-right settlers as a result, but after many of them were released last year, attacks have crept up again.

Source: RT

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Police Expand Jewish Terror Probe, Summon 30 More Yeshiva Students

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Jewish seminary in West Bank at center of probe into murder of Palestinian mother of nine in October

 

New World Order Decline Has Pope Francis In A State Of Panic!

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(Leo Zagami) Pope Francis issued a stark warning about the fragility of the international order on January 7, saying in an annual address to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps that “the same attitudes” that led to the failure of the League of Nations now endanger the system of diplomacy set up after World War II. The pontiff told 180 ambassadors to the Holy See,  who are all engaged with the dark side of the Illuminati, that the success of the diplomatic order rests on three foundations: goodwill among nations, their ability to deal fairly with one another, and openness to compromise, but Pope Francis knows things are not looking so good for his criminal enterprise.  Governments and people all over the world are finally understanding the true Satanic nature of this Jesuit Pope and his Church of hypocrites.

Pope Francis and the New World Order are simply in search of cheap labor and sex slaves. That’s why on Sunday, Pope Francis launched an appeal to European leaders, asking them to welcome a group of African migrants aboard two NGO vessels. I would like to make a heartfelt appeal to the leaders of Europe to demonstrate real solidarity with these people,” he said. But deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio of the M5S replied: “We will not retreat on the migration policy, which has allowed us to considerably reduce landings.”

In the meantime, another pedophile scandal shows once more the real nature of Pope Francis. The Holy See announced on Friday that Bishop Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta, an Argentine native appointed by Pope Francis to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See in 2017, was accused last autumn of sexual abuse. The allegations were leveled internally in recent months, and last week the provincial newspaper in Salta, El Tribuno, reported that three priests brought accusations against him to the Vatican’s ambassador, or nuncio, in Buenos Aires. The newspaper said the priests had lodged accusations against Zanchetta for abuse of power, economic abuse, and sexual abuse inside the seminary.

Bishop Zanchetta, who was made a Bishop by the same Pope Francis in 2013,  fled Argentina in 2017 under mysterious circumstances after rumors of his pedophile activities started to circulate. Zanchetta even opened his own seminary in 2016 with six seminarians to facilitate his perversions with Pope Francis’ support. According to El Tribuno, the St. John XXIII seminary is due to close soon.

Bishop Zanchetta, assessor of APSA, the powerful office that manages the Vatican’s vast real estate and other financial holdings,could become yet another problem for Pope Francis, who is already battling to gain trust from the Catholic flock over his handling of sex abuse and misconduct.

Bergoglio faces growing problems in his beloved Argentina as a Vatican official told Cruxin earlier in December that when the crisis of clerical sexual abuse explodes in Pope Francis’s native Argentina, the situation will be dramatic.

Source: by Leo Zagami

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