Women Can Be Priests

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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 06:18:00 (permalink)
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Hasina urged to build on victory
BBC News
December 30, 2008

Bangladesh's media have urged Sheikh Hasina to shoulder the responsibility of her landslide election victory and make democracy work.
 
Ms Hasina's Awami League alliance has won more than 260 of the 300 seats in a poll mostly praised by media, monitors and the international community.

However, the losing BNP alliance has complained of widespread fraud and has not yet said it accepts defeat.



An army-backed government ruled for two years before Monday's election. The interim government had dismissed the previous administration and cancelled elections due in January 2007 after months of street protests and battles between gangs of rival party supporters spiralled out of control.

The Election Commission has not yet declared a final official result but the Awami League alliance has more than 260 seats and the alliance of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has just 31. The BNP's Islamist ally, Jamaat-e-Islami, was almost wiped out.

'Lesson from history'
 
Bangladesh's media welcomed the generally peaceful nature of the election. Their main concern was that the result was accepted and that democracy was made to work.

The pro-BNP Jai Jai Din said it was clear that "people want change through democratic means, not by any other way".
 
The Daily Star said the "final test of commitment and loyalty to democracy will lie in the losing side gracefully bowing out to the popular verdict".

The New Age said that in the past landslide wins had led to governments behaving undemocratically and suppressing dissent. "We only hope that the Awami League will take lessons from history."

 
Ms Hasina had been planning to hold a press conference on her victory on Tuesday afternoon but there was a massive crush of journalists and supporters and the event was postponed until Wednesday.

Reporters were planning questions on how Ms Hasina planned to tackle rising prices, Islamist militancy and the issue of corruption that has dogged both her and her main defeated rival Khaleda Zia.

'Driven away'
 
The BBC's Jill McGivering says Ms Hasina has pledged to curb inflation and improve the economy, but the country's manufacturing industries depend heavily on exports and they may struggle in the global downturn.

Our correspondent says to stay popular, Ms Hasina needs to show quickly that she can introduce policies to ease the burden of widespread poverty and reduce inefficiency in public life.

But another key question will be Khaleda Zia and whether she will accept defeat and co-operate with the government or fall back into former tactics of protest and disruption.

Much of the national media has urged Ms Zia's BNP to accept the results. But the party has complained of fraud and forgery at more than 200 polling stations and observers say the next two days will be vital as to whether the result is accepted or sparks violence.

"We have reports that BNP supporters were barred from coming to the polls and also were driven away from polling stations in many places," a BNP leader, Rizvi Ahmed, said. The election saw a massive turnout, overseen by hundreds of international monitors who largely pronounced the election fair and credible.

The US state department said: "All Bangladeshis can take great pride in the success of these elections. The high voter turnout underscores the people's desire to see democracy restored."

Indian PM Manmohan Singh congratulated Sheikh Hasina in a telephone call, saying Delhi looked forward to working with her government.

Her administration will take charge in about 10 days.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/7804881.stm
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 06:24:33 (permalink)
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Hasina's victory ends army rule in Dhaka
By James Lamont in New Delhi and James Fontanella-Khan in Mumbai
The Financial Times
December 31 2008
 
Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh's former prime minister, won a landslide victory yesterday in the first election for seven years, crushing -Khaleda Zia, her archrival.

The resounding victory of Sheikh Hasina's Mohajot alliance restored democracy to the south Asian country after two years of de facto military rule. The coalition won 263 seats of the 300-seat parliament. Sheikh Hasina's party, the secular centre-left Awami League, alone won 229 seats.

Her new government will face formidable challenges. Bangladesh, one of the world's least developed countries, faces serious economic and social difficulties. Its turbulent politics are characterised by feuding between Sheikh Hasina, who was previously held on murder and corruption charges, and Mrs Zia, the leader of the Bangladesh National party and also a former prime minister who has spent time in prison. Their terms in office have been riven by allegations of abuse of power and outbreaks of violence. The country also faces a growing threat from Islamist militants.

Sheikh Hasina had campaigned on a platform of fighting poverty, lowering food prices and attracting foreign investment. Her party said the victory was a "thumping verdict against corruption and criminalisation". Civilian rule will have to find accommodation with an army that has played an overtly political role in the recent past.

An army-backed government suspended democratic rule and declared a state of emergency in January last year, arresting the most powerful political leaders. But the army has failed to sustain its anti-corruption drive and has drawn criticism for human rights violations. Analysts said a successful civilian government would have to negotiate with the army to promote development and maintain peace.

"Our concern is what happens to the army now," said Meenakshi Ganguly, a researcher with the New York-based Human Rights Watch. "They have been ruling the roost for two years and they have been very powerful. Are they going to go quietly back to the barracks?"

The Bangladesh National party immediately claimed that the election was flawed. "There have been a lot of irregularities," it said. The party won only 10 per cent of seats in parliament, according to election officials.

But election observers said people in Bangladesh, which has a population of more than 140m, had been able to vote freely on Monday.

"Our teams across the country reported a peaceful atmosphere and a professionally administered voting and counting process," Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, the European Union's chief election observer, told the Financial Times.

"If, as seems likely, the elections are credible, all parties must accept the results and behave in accordance with the spirit of parliamentary democracy."

If the Bangladesh National party, which is aligned with the main Islamic party, does not concede defeat, there are fears of unrest.

Sheikh Hasina, 61, first came to power in 1996, ruling for five years before being ousted at the polls by Mrs Zia. Sheikh Hasina is the daughter of Bangladesh's late president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was assassinated in a 1975 military coup, four years after Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan.

New Delhi yesterday welcomed the prospect of her return to power.

Pranab Mukherjee, India's foreign minister, said: "The massive participation of a large number of voters, and the outcome is a clear demonstration of people's confidence in multi-party democracy."

The Financial Times Limited 2008

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9e72ec42-d6dc-11dd-9bf7-000077b07658.html
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 06:30:17 (permalink)
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Vote reflects an urge for change
by Haroon Habib
The Hindu
December 30, 2008

BNP-led alliance punished for “corruption, neglect of vital issues”
 
DHAKA: The Bangladesh parliamentary election results on Tuesday clearly indicate that the voters, especially the young and first-time voters, were hungry for change that the BNP-led alliance was simply incapable of delivering.

The four-party alliance offered few new ideas to the voters and appeared to have learnt nothing from its two years on the sidelines during which many of its senior leaders were incarcerated on corruption charges. Its defeat can be seen as a verdict against the unprecedented corruption and tyranny that marked its five-year rule.


Impressive comeback: Bangladesh’s former Prime Minister and Awami League chief, Sheikh Hasina Wajed (right) meets supporters in Dhaka on Tuesday.

While in power, the alliance failed to address vital issues, including soaring prices of essential commodities and power generation, instead focusing on consolidating all power in its hands and misusing the same for personal and political gain.

Analysts said the alliance candidates, and in particular BNP chief and ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, paid scant attention to the needs and aspirations of the voters. Ms. Khaleda repeatedly invoked Islam, requesting power to “save Islam” and “save the country”. It is believed that this kind of negativity and cynicism is what has been punished by the voters.

The near wipe-out of Jamaat in its worst election showing since independence also lends credence to the notion that the voters, though religious, have rejected the misuse of religion for political purposes.

There is much conjecture that the victory of the grand alliance was the outcome of participation of the first-time voters, who turned out in record numbers, and women, who outnumbered men.

A record number of voters — 85 per cent — exercised their franchise. Held under tight security, the polls saw none of the deadly unrest that forced the January 22, 2007 vote to be cancelled and an army-backed caretaker government to take control. Impersonation was almost absent.

Despite allegations by the BNP of irregularities in some constituencies, Monday’s voting appears to have been largely peaceful and generally free.

© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu

http://www.hindu.com/2008/12/31/stories/2008123155561500.htm
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 14:57:58 (permalink)
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This is amazing for women especially given that Bangladesh is predominantly Muslim.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 16:01:21 (permalink)
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On this day December 31 in 1695 – A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax.
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 16:02:48 (permalink)
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Born this day December 31 in 1378: Pope Callixtus III (d. 1458)

Calixtus III, né Alfons de Borja, was born near Xativa, Valencia, today Spain but then Kingdom of Valencia under the Crown of Aragon, and was Pope from April 8, 1455 to his death in 1458.


Pope Calixtus III
 
Biography
 
His early career was spent as a professor of law at University of Lleida and then as a diplomat in the service of the Kings of Aragon, especially during the Council of Basel (1431–1439). He became a cardinal after reconciling Pope Eugene IV (1431–1447) with King Alfonso V of Aragon (1416–1458).

He was raised to the papal chair in 1455 as Calixtus III at a very advanced age as a compromise candidate. He was viewed by historians as being feeble and incompetent. The great object of his policy was the urging of a crusade against the Turks, who had captured Constantinople in 1453, but he did not find the Christian princes responsive to his call despite his every effort.

Pope Calixtus III made two of his nephews cardinals, one of whom, Roderic de Borgia, later became Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503), who was reportedly infamous for corruption.

On June 29, 1456, he ordered the bells to be rung at noon (see noon bell) in all the Church to call Christians for praying.
 
As news spread with some delay, this order became connected with the Siege of Belgrade (which happened on July 22), a victory against the Turks. To commemorate this victory, Calixtus III ordered the Transfiguration to be held on August 6.
 
He ordered a new trial for St. Joan of Arc (c. 1412–1431), at which she was posthumously vindicated after being controversially tried and executed.

Calixtus III's pre-papal coat of arms featured a grazing ox.

The "bull against the comet."
 
According to one story, first appearing in a posthumous biography in 1475 and later embellished and popularized by Pierre-Simon Laplace, Calixtus III excommunicated the 1456 apparition of Halley's Comet, believing it to be an ill omen for the Christian defenders of Belgrade, who were at that time being besieged by the armies of the Ottoman Empire. No known primary source supports the authenticity of this account. Calixtus III's papal bull of June 29, 1456, which called for public prayer for the success of the crusade, makes no mention of the comet, and by August 6, when the Turkish siege was broken, the comet had not been visible from Europe or Turkey for several weeks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Callixtus_III
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RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 16:24:52 (permalink)
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Joan of Arc is interrogated by The Cardinal of Winchester in her prison.
  • Painting by Paul Delaroche (1797-1856).
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen (France).




    [Pope Callixtus III] ordered a new trial for St. Joan of Arc (c. 1412–1431), at which she was posthumously vindicated after being controversially tried and executed.



    Controversially tried and executed...
     
    The trial and wrongful conviction of heresy of St. Joan of Arc (c. 1412–1431), her subsequent excommunication and burning at the stake represent a sad chapter in Church history.  One of the most grave errors made in by clerical 'power' in the Church -- Joan was, by order of Church authorities, burned to death at the stake.

    The July 7 in 1456 retrial verdict acquitted this woman of conscience, Unfortunately for Joan, the acquittal came a little too late... 25 years after she was burned at the stake as heretic.

     
    Joan of Arc 
     
    What does her story say to those who adamantly insist that Church authorities never make mistakes?
     
    For more about being true to conscience in the practice of our faith, join us for discussion in the dialogue thread: Our Duty to Raise Loyal Questions 
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 16:47:29 (permalink)
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    Joan of Arc, Defender of the Faith

    Joan of Arc, otherwise known as the Maid of Orléans, Jeanne d'Arc or la Pucelle (the Maid) to the French-speaking world, was born in the village of Domrémy on the river Meuse on 6 January, 1412. At the beginning of the 15th Century, Domrémy was on the eastern border of France in the region of Champagne, which was then under the control of the Duke of Burgundy.

    At the age of 13, Joan claims to have had a mystical experience, in which the Archangel Michael told her to take up arms and drive the English out of France. This was a pretty tall order as Burgundy and England were allies, the Dauphin1 was a weakling, and Joan was a mere child. The situation looked bleak, but Joan was a remarkable young girl, not to be underestimated by anyone. By virtue of her strength of character and her uncanny ability to know things she had no business knowing, she gradually won enough influential support to raise an army by the age of 17.

    Riding at the head of her army, she relieved the English siege of Orléans, and, later, defeated the English army of Lord Talbot outright at the battle of Patay. Unfortunately for her, things started to go badly thereafter. On 24 May, 1430, Joan was captured by the Burgundians and later sold to the English. Charles VII of France, whose crown she had fought to save, turned his back on her and, in May 1431, after a show trial, Joan of Arc was burned alive at the stake at the age of 19.

    She was canonised in 1920.

    The Maid
     
    Joan was the daughter of Jacques and Isabelle (Zabillet) d'Arc. They were farmers who were prosperous by local standards and respected by their neighbours for being good, industrious Catholics. She was a dutiful daughter, much like any other, and although no contemporary portrait of Joan was ever produced, she has been described as stocky and dark-complexioned from working in the fields, with short black hair and brown eyes - a robust and healthy farm girl.

    She was a sensitive girl, more pensive than many of her young friends. She spent a great deal of her time in church - she prayed and confessed while other girls played - and before long, the other girls began to resent her piety, which they may have considered an affectation. The spectre of the Hundred Years War cast a gloomy shadow over the French landscape, which troubled her deeply. She had an irresistible sense of personal responsibility for the state of her country which, it seemed, was on the verge of an apocalypse. Yet she was an intelligent girl, conscious of the limitations that her sex and social position placed on her ability to act. She was torn between what she knew she must do and what she knew she ought not to do. She turned to the church for help, attending mass daily and confessing as often as the village priest would permit. Though she was always reticent about her voices.


    Clockwise from top left: Jean Seberg Saint Joan (1957), Ingrid Bergman Joan of Arc (1948), Renée Maria Falconetti The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Milla Jovovich The Messenger (1999)

    The Voices


    I was thirteen when I had a voice from God for my help and guidance. The first time that I heard this voice, I was very much frightened, it was midday, in the summer, in my father's garden... I heard this voice to my right, towards the Church, rarely do I hear it without its being accompanied also by a light. This light comes from the same side as the voice.


    There was never any doubt in Joan's mind that the voices she heard bore a message addressed to her straight from Almighty God. Theological implications and the issue of whether or not it was right to hear voices were irrelevant; they were simply a fact of her young life.

    The voices identified themselves to Joan as the Archangel Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. They told her that God wanted to rid France of the English presence and unite the kingdom under Charles VII. In order to do this, she would have to dress like a man, demand an army from the Dauphin, and lead them into battle herself, under the banner of Jesus and Mary.

    Her reaction was entirely rational and no more or less than one might expect; 'I am a poor girl; I do not know how to ride or fight.' But the voices insisted that 'It is God who commands it'; and so, in 1429, the brave 16 year old rode forth to the Dauphin's court at Chinon.

    Dauphins being Dauphins and red tape being the same everywhere, Joan had to be examined by a learned panel of bishops and doctors. Before being entrusted with an army of her own, she would have to convince these gentlemen that she did speak with the authority of the Almighty and wasn't just a deranged country girl. The theologians ruled that she really was on a mission from God and that none of her claims constituted heresy.

    Joan later referred to the Bishops' approval in Rouen, when she was being tried for her life, but no record of the proceedings could be found.

    Her voices had from the beginning given her a mystical insight into things that could not otherwise have been known. She carried an ancient sword into battle that her voices had told her was hidden behind the altar in the chapel of Ste Catherine-de-Fierbois. Nobody else knew it was there. Many believe that Joan was able to win the confidence of the Dauphin by allaying a secret doubt he held regarding the legitimacy of his birth; and protecting this 'secret of the king' played a significant part in her trial.

    What the voices had to say to Joan was something, for the most part, that she chose to keep to herself. However, it would seem by 1428 they were becoming insistent that she go and fight.

    The Campaign 

    The first stage of Joan's campaign began in the neighbouring town of Vaucouleurs. She had to convince local officialdom, in the person of Robert Baudricourt, to take her seriously.

    This was no mean accomplishment and it should be taken as a testament to her obvious sincerity and good character that she even had a chance of prevailing. Baudricourt was a crusty old veteran who had little patience for eccentrics.

    Yet prevail she did and the clincher came in February 1429, when she reported the disastrous French defeat at the Battle of the Herrings to Baudricourt days before official word had reached the town. She was given an escort of three men-at-arms and permission to present herself to the court of the Dauphin at Chinon.

    When she arrived on 6 March, she had to establish her credibility all over again, first by recognising that the Dauphin she was presented to was an impostor, then by taking an excursion to Poitiers and convincing a learned panel of doctors and clerics of her authenticity, and finally by whispering the Dauphin's guilty secret in his ear. That his guilty secret was about his legitimacy is a subject for speculation.

    At last the Dauphin agreed to raise an army and get her readied for fighting. She chose to carry an ancient sword that was shown to her by angels and a banner bearing the words Jesus, Maria, along with a picture of God being presented the fleur-de-lis by kneeling angels. Next stop, Orléans.

    A letter written on 22 April, 1429, by Sire de Rotslaer, before Joan had reached the besieged city of Orléans, describes several predictions Joan made at the outset of the campaign:

    ... that she would save Orléans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orléans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Rheims, together with other things which the King keeps secret.

    Joan's army entered Orléans on 30 April, 1429, bringing with it much needed supplies for the town's inhabitants. She worked her troops to a frenzy that could only have been inspired by religious fervour and personal adoration of their mysterious young leader. They manoeuvred at a pace that confounded the English and the veteran officers of her own army alike. By 8 May, the surrounding forts had been retaken and the siege of Orléans effectively lifted.

    The Dauphin and his sage advisors counselled a slow, cautious campaign and her own officers concurred, but the Maid would not be put off. She mopped up pockets of the English resistance in a blitzkrieg-like Loire campaign and finally routed Talbot's army together with reinforcements hastily sent from Paris under Sir John Fastolf, who was later stripped of the Order of the Garter for being beaten by a girl.



    The route to Rheims lay open, but the old soldiers in her army, still eager to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the time-honoured manner, wanted very much to retire before the fortified town of Troyes.

    Undaunted, Joan pressed on, captured the town, and marched to Rheims, where Charles VII was installed as king on 17 July, 1429.

    Having achieved a glorious victory, some historians suggest that Joan wished to return to the quiet life in Domrémy. Others, particularly the producers of epic films, maintain that she remained barking mad to drive the English into the sea. There is probably an element of truth in both of these points of view. No doubt she saw the good sense in pressing home her military advantage and ridding France once and for all of the hated English forces. On the other hand there is strong evidence to support the idea that she was sick to the teeth of the Dauphin's vacillations and the intrigues of his court. What is certain is that, despite whatever personal misgivings she may have had, she remained in the field with her troops.

    On 8 September, 1429, Joan led an attack on Paris, which failed after early gains due to inadequate support. While trying to rally her men, she was shot through the thigh with a crossbow bolt, thus suffering her second serious wound and the Duc d'Alençon carried her from the field. The attack soon crumbled. Shortly afterwards, Charles signed a dubious truce with the Duke of Burgundy.

    In the spring of the following year, Joan's voices told her that she would soon be captured and on 24 May they were again proved right. With the conclusion of the truce, Joan had ridden to the defence of the town of Compiègne, which was under Burgundian attack. After leading a desperate sortie against an overwhelming force, Joan became trapped outside the town when the drawbridge was ordered raised. She was pulled from her horse and made prisoner. Charles VII, King of France, who owed the crown he wore to the heroism of the Maid of Orléans, made no effort to recover her and so she was transferred to the custody of her English enemies.

     

    The Trial
     
    Joan was taken to Rouen, where she was turned over to an ecclesiastical court sympathetic to the English and Burgundian cause. She was charged with heresy and witchcraft. Despite the fact that she was technically in the custody of the church, she was held in the fortress of Rouen, guarded by English soldiers, who molested and mistreated her to such an extent that even the assembly of tame bishops began to object. Indeed, she was so loathed by her captors that, for a time, she was kept in an iron cage, chained at the neck, wrists, and ankles.

    She was probed about the nature of the heavenly voices she claimed to hear. Did she hold the heretical view that the church was not a necessary intercedent between humanity and God? Did she reject the authority of the Church of Rome?

    She answered these questions with such frank honesty and open piety that she began to win grudging support from some of the witnesses of the trial. This was an embarrassment, so the trial was moved into the prison itself, away from sympathetic witnesses.

    Much of what the voices told her she refused to divulge. Although frustrated in their attempts to prove their charges, the court concocted a long and scurrilous report, based on her refusal to testify, that pronounced her voices to be 'false and diabolical'. She was given the ultimatum that, unless she recanted her belief in the heavenly origin of the voices, she would be tortured or turned over to the secular court, who would simply sentence her to death. She refused. After more than a year of tricks and abuse, a stake and pyre was erected and she was again admonished to recant. This time her courage failed and she signed a retraction.

    The actual terms of the document she signed will probably never be known. It is very clear that the diatribe inserted into the trial records is a fraud. This has been attested to by many witnesses, including Jean Massieu, the official who read the original to the illiterate prisoner. The Church had coerced and tricked Joan into confessing, in return for which they would sentence her to life in prison.

    This outcome infuriated the English, who demanded nothing less than the girl's death, so a plan was hatched whereby Joan was tricked into once again donning men's clothes, either as a flimsy protection against groping jailers or perhaps because someone had removed every other means she had of covering her body. This feeble act of unconscionable treachery was enough to brand her as a relapsed heretic and condemn her, once and for all, to the flames.

    She was burned the very next day, 30 May, 1431. She was 19 years old.




    1. Dauphin literally means 'Dolphin' and the eldest son of the king of France held this mysterious title. The counts of Vienne used the title from the 12th Century, and gave it to the King, Philippe de Valois, in 1349 on condition that each succeeding heir to the throne of France should be called Dauphin de Viennois. The revolution put a stop to all that.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A403543
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 17:06:03 (permalink)
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    Some charge that those of us who:
    • raise questions about the Vatican prohibition against women priests
    • show inconsistencies in the Vatican case
    • demonstrate with clarity that there are no scriptural, traditional, theological or practical reasons justifications for the exclusion of women from priesthood 

    are unfaithful to the Church. 
     
    What say you? Read on...

    Joan of Arc, Patron of Opposition to Church Authorities


    Eugene Thirion, 1876
    Jeanne d' Arc

     
    Also known as:  Jean D'arc; Jeanne d'Arc; Jehanne Darc; Maid of Orleans

    Memorial: May 30

    Profile: One of five children born to Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romee. Sheperdess, mystic. From age 13 she received visions from Saints Margaret of Antioch, Catherine of Alexandria, and Michael the Archangel.

    In the early fifteenth century England, in alliance with Burgundy, controlled most of what is modern France. In May 1428 Joan's visions told her to find the true king of France and help him reclaim his throne. She resisted for more than three years, but finally went to Charles VII in Chinon and told him of her visions. Carrying a banner that read "Jesus, Mary", she led troops from one battle to another. She was severely wounded, but her victories from February 23, 1429 to May 23, 1430 brought Charles VII to the throne. Captured by the Burgundians during the defence of Compiegne, she was sold to the English for 10 thousand francs. She was put on trial by an ecclesiastical court conducted by Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, a supporter of England, and was excuted as a heretic. In 1456 her case was re-tried, and Joan was acquitted (23 years too late).

    "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter." - Saint Joan of Arc, as recorded at her trial

    Born: January 6, 1412 at Greux-Domremy, Lorraine, France

    Died: burned alive on May 30, 1431 at Rouen, France

    Beatified: April 11, 1905 by Pope Pius X

    Canonized: May 16, 1920 by Pope Benedict XV

    Name Meaning: God is gracious

    Patronage: captives; France; imprisoned people; martyrs; opposition of Church authorities; imprisoned people; martyrs; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; rape victims; soldiers; women appointed for voluntary emergency service.
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 17:06:48 (permalink)
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    It is an act of great loyalty to point out respectfully where a glaring and grave error is being made.
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 19:10:54 (permalink)
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    Born this day December 31 in 1946 – Pius Ncube, Zimbabwean human rights advocate

    His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. Pius Alick Mvundla Ncube served as the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, until he resigned on September 11, 2007. Widely known for his human rights advocacy, Ncube is an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe.


    Pius Ncube

    Archbishop Ncube received a Human Rights Award from Human Rights First on October 23, 2003 for speaking out against torture and confronting the Mugabe government for starving certain regions of Zimbabwe for political reasons. He has received many death threats for his activities. He is a member of Zimbabwe's minority Ndebele ethnic group.

    Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been plagued with violence and corruption. Believing that the 2005 Zimbabwe parliamentary elections would be fixed, Ncube called for a "popular mass uprising" in the style of the Orange Revolution or Tulip Revolution to remove Mugabe from power. "I hope people get so disillusioned that they really organise against this government and kick him out by non-violent popular mass uprising," Ncube said.
     
    In response, Mugabe has called Ncube a half-wit and a liar. After the March 2005 elections, Ncube repeated his call for a peaceful rebellion. Referring to Mugabe, he said "I am praying that he goes home gently; At 84, he has lived a full life."

    . . .
     
    Learn more, click here: RE: Heroic Agents of Change - 2008
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 19:13:06 (permalink)
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    From recent news headlines:
     
    Ex-archbishop Pius Ncube, opponent of Robert Mugabe, silenced by Vatican
    The Times
    timesonline
    by Martin Fletcher in Bulawayo
    December 8, 2008  
     
    One of the most outspoken opponents of Robert Mugabe has been silenced by the Vatican just as the regime in Zimbabwe is at its weakest and his leadership would be most valuable.

    Pius Ncube resigned as Archbishop of Bulawayo and left Zimbabwe in September 2007 after he was filmed sleeping with a married woman who was employed by the regime as a “honeytrap”. He returned last month after spending a year in exile in Rome and Britain, but the Roman Catholic Church has forbidden him from making any political statements.


    Pius Ncube says that the ban on his political statements has helped the Mugabe regime to silence critics but that he will still share the people's suffering

    In the first interview he has given since his fall Mr Ncube told The Times that he would obey the Vatican order, but added: “I am very upset about it. I believe in speaking out for the people at a time of distress. This country is in the worst situation - worse than when I left.”

    . . .
     
    Learn more, read here: RE: Heroic Agents of Change - 2008
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 19:15:29 (permalink)
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    Current news from Zimbabwe...
     
    Zimbabwe activists kept in prison over alleged Mugabe plot
    Associated Free Press
    December 31, 2008

    HARARE (AFP) - A leading human rights campaigner and 15 other activists were ordered Wednesday to remain in prison over an alleged plot to topple President Robert Mugabe, heightening fears for a faltering unity accord.

    Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe did not rule on the merits of the charges against the activists, but said they should remain in custody pending a Supreme Court hearing on their case. "This matter remains to be decided in the Supreme Court and the accused cannot be released," he said.


    Zimbabwean human rights activist Jestina Mukoko arrives at a magistrate's court in Harare December 24. The top Zimbabwean rights activist and 15 other activists were ordered Wednesday to remain in prison over an alleged plot to topple President Robert Mugabe, heightening fears for a faltering unity accord. Photo:Desmond Kwande/AFP
     
    Slideshow: Zimbabwe
     
    . . .
     
    Learn more, click here: RE: Heroic Agents of Change - 2008
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 19:19:12 (permalink)
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    2 weeks ago: A Zimbabwean woman and a child walk among garbage in Harare on December 13, 2008.
     
    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was to hold talks next week with the UN on Zimbabwe, as Harare blamed Britain for a "genocidal" cholera outbreak and President Robert Mugabe ignored mounting calls to quit.
     
    Zimbabwe's crumbling infrastructure has helped spread the disease across the country, as broken water and sewage pipes have left many neighbourhoods without clean drinking water or adequate sanitation.
     
    AFP/Getty Images
     
    http://www.daylife.com/photo/0e8Z29Q2mwaUf
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 19:27:03 (permalink)
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    From statement of Jennifer Stark, Coordinator, Women's Ordination Worldwide,  Press Release June 10, 2008:

    In baptism, women and men share equally in the priesthood of Christ. Baptism implies a fundamental openness to all sacraments, including Holy Orders. The history of the Church documents the ordination of women.  Jennifer Stark, coordinator of WOW, commented, ‘This is a global issue. In many countries around the world, the exclusion of women from ordained ministry, and thus from the decision-making structures of a worldwide church, has profound effects for their position and well being, and that of their children. It signals that they are lesser beings in the eyes of God.’

    WOW calls on all to act against the unjust laws that exclude women from the sacrament of Holy Orders. We ask Pope Benedict XVI to follow Christ’s gospel imperative by liberating the church from the sin of sexism. We urge bishops throughout the world to recognize and act on their episcopal responsibility to their people. We further urge them to use their voice to challenge the legitimacy of this decree and the ban on discussion of women’s ordination.
    Read complete press release, click here: http://www.womenpriests.org/circles/fb.asp?m=22245
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 19:31:01 (permalink)
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    Died this day December 31 in 335 - Pope St. Silvester

    Pope Saint Sylvester I or Silvester I was pope from January 314 to December 31, 335, succeeding Pope Miltiades.

    The accounts of his Papacy preserved in the Liber Pontificalis (7th or 8th century) and in Anastasius are little else than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the Roman Church by Emperor Constantine I.

    He was represented at the First Council of Nicaea, and is said to have held a council at Rome to condemn the heresies of Arius and others.


    Sylvester I and the Emperor Constantine
     
    The legend of his having baptised Constantine is fictional, as contemporary evidence shows the emperor to have received this rite near Nicomedia at the hands of Eusebius, bishop of that city.

    According to the 19th century historian Ignaz von Döllinger, the entire legend of Sylvester and Constantine, with all its details of Constantine's leprosy and the proposed bath of blood, cannot have been composed later than the close of the 5th century, while it is certainly alluded to by Gregory of Tours and Bede.


    Pope Sylvester I portrayed slaying a dragon and resurrecting its victims

    The so-called Donation of Constantine was long ago shown to be spurious, but the document is of very considerable antiquity, and in Döllinger's opinion, was forged in Rome between 752 and 777. It was certainly known to Pope Adrian I in 778, and was inserted in the false decretals towards the middle of the next century.

    Sylvester's legendary relationship to Constantine was important in the Middle Ages. Pope Sylvester II (999-1003), himself a close associate of Emperor Otto III, chose the name Sylvester in imitation of Sylvester I.

    As the feast day of St. Sylvester is December 31st, New Year's Eve is known as or also referred to as Sylvester in certain countries.

    His relics are housed in the church of San Silvestro in Capite, in Rome.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Silvester_I
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 20:08:01 (permalink)
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    Saint Melania the Younger, Woman Deacon 

    Melania the Younger, Woman Deacon 
    Feastday: December 31

    Born in Rome, Italy, c. 383; died in Jerusalem, December 31, 438 (or 439). Melania was the product of several pious generations of the patrician Roman family of the Valerii. Her grandmother, Saint Antonia Melania the Elder, widow of Valerius Maximus, was one of the first Roman matrons to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. When Melania the Elder moved to Egypt in 372 and then to Palestine to become a nun, she left behind her in Rome her six-year-old son Valerius Publicola, who fathered today's saint and was a Roman senator.
     
    . . .
     
    Learn more, click here: RE: Holy Women Through the Ages: 2008
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2008/12/31 20:09:05 (permalink)
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    Learn more about the ordained women's diaconate, see here:
    Sophie
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2009/01/01 06:39:03 (permalink)
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    Dear friends,

    Having ease of navigation for new visitors in mind, I have opened our 2009 news central thread in a new forum.  (You will see it appears at the top of the forum home page www.womenpriests.org/circles/)

    The direct link is here: 2009 News Central, Items of Interest, Traffic Directions!  
     
    We'll see how it work in the new location.

    with love and blessings,

    ~Sophie~
    Sophie
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    RE: News central, etc., items of interest... 2009/04/01 04:29:03 (permalink)
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    On March 30 in 1870 - The 15th amendment to the United States Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, was declared in effect.
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