Friday, 28 November 2008

Benedict XVI Grieves Mumbai Attacks

Condemns Terrorism as Offensive to Dignity

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 27, 2008 ( After another eruption of terrorist attacks, this time in India, Benedict XVI is appealing for an end to terrorism as a grave offense to human dignity.This was affirmed in a telegram sent in the Pope's name by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, India. So far, 119 people have been reported killed and 288 injured in a series of attacks that began Wednesday night and continued today in Mumbai.

Muslim militants are thought responsible."Deeply concerned about the outbreak of violence in Mumbai, the Holy Father asks you kindly to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in these brutal attacks, and to assure the public authorities, citizens, and all those affected of his spiritual closeness" the telegram said. "His Holiness urgently appeals for an end to all acts of terrorism, which gravely offend the human family and severely destabilize the peace and solidarity needed to build a civilization worthy of mankind's noble vocation to love God and neighbor.

"The Holy Father prays for the repose of the souls of the victims and implores God's gift of strength and comfort for those who are injured and in mourning."For their part, the bishops' conference of India unequivocally condemned the terrorist attacks.Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, secretary-general of the conference, expressed his deep sympathy and serious concern, saying, "The terrorist attacks in various parts of Mumbai in which innocent people are killed, foreigners targeted and top cops killed is one of the most barbaric acts and it must be condemned in the strongest possible words by one and all.

Terrorism is evil, and all those involved in any terrorist activities are people working against the very foundation of human life which is sacred in the eyes of God."

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Pope Says True Beauty Linked to Truth

Cautions Against Valuing Mere Appearances

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 25, 2008 ( The search for beauty without truth and goodness can drive young people to fly toward artificial paradises that simply hide interior emptiness, says Benedict XVI.The Pope affirmed this in a message sent to the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, and directed to the members of the pontifical academies who are participating in a conference on "The Universality of Beauty: a Comparison Between Aesthetics and Ethics."There is currently a "dramatic" separation between the "search for beauty, though understood in a reductive way as an exterior form, as an appearance to be sought at all costs, and the [search] for truth and the goodness of actions," he wrote.

This separation, the Holy Father cautioned, transforms beauty into "mere aestheticism, and above all for youth, into a path that leads to the ephemeral, into banal and superficial appearances, or even a flight toward artificial paradises, which disguise and hide interior emptiness and inconsistencies."Faced with this, the Pontiff affirmed that Christians are called to "give reason for" not only the truth of the faith, but also its beauty, by way of "works that are at the same time beautiful and good," which point to "another beauty, truth and goodness that only in God have their perfection and their ultimate source."

In this sense, Benedict XVI affirmed, within the connection of beauty with truth and goodness, that it is needed to again "link beauty with reason," since "reason that would like to separate itself from beauty would be diminished, as also beauty deprived of reason would be reduced to an empty and illusory mask."Beauty, he continued, has always been considered a "path to arrive to God" and particularly in last month's synod, bishops recalled the link between art and sacred Scripture.

The Pope invited artists to return again to Pope John Paul II's 1999 "Letter to Artists": "This is precisely your task, your mission: to stir up awe at and desire for the beautiful, form the sensitivity of souls and nourish the passion for all that which is an authentic expression of the human genius and a reflection of divine beauty."Man of today, he continued, though "absorbed by a cultural climate that is not always adequate for welcoming beauty in fully harmony with truth and goodness," still has "a desire and nostalgia for an authentic beauty, not superficial and ephemeral."F

inally, Benedict XVI asked artists for their "passionate and creative efforts, above all in the artistic field, to promote in contemporary cultures a new Christian humanism, which knows how to walk with clarity and decision the path of authentic beauty."

Today's Inspirational Quote:

"Don't be discouraged by a failure.

It can be a positive experience.

Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success,

inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek

earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience

points out some form of error which we shall afterwards

carefully avoid."

-- John Keats

Pope: Ecumenism Helping Gospel to Spread

Expresses Hope for Closeness With Armenian Church
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 24, 2008 ( The growth in ecumenical relations has great promise for the proclamation of the Gospel in our time, says Benedict XVI.The Pope affirmed this today when he presided at an ecumenical celebration with Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians. A delegation from the Catholicosate also participated in the event.Aram I is on a visit to Rome that will include a pilgrimage to St. Paul's Outside the Walls. "Our meeting today," the Pope told him, "stands in continuity with the visit which you made to my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II in January 1997, and with the many other contacts and mutual visits which, by God's grace, have led in recent years to closer relations between the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church."

"In this year of St. Paul, you will visit the tomb of the Apostle of the Nations and pray with the monastic community at the basilica erected to his memory," the Holy Father continued. "In that prayer, you will be united to the great host of Armenian saints and martyrs, teachers and theologians, whose legacy of learning, holiness and missionary achievements are part of the patrimony of the whole Church. […] That testimony culminated in the 20th century, which proved a time of unspeakable suffering for your people.

"The faith and devotion of the Armenian people have been constantly sustained by the memory of the many martyrs who have borne witness to the Gospel down the centuries. May the grace of that witness continue to shape the culture of your nation and inspire in Christ's followers an ever greater trust in the saving and life-giving power of the cross."Overcoming divisionsThe Pontiff noted how the See of Cilicia has been involved in encouraging ecumenical contacts between the Churches.

"Indeed, the dialogue between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church has benefited significantly from the presence of its Armenian delegates," he said. "We must be hopeful that this dialogue will continue to move forward, since it promises to clarify theological issues which have divided us in the past but now appear open to greater consensus."In that context, Benedict XVI expressed confidence in the work of an international commission studying "The Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church.

"The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of six Oriental Orthodox Churches. These Churches separated from Rome after the Council of Chalcedon in 451, over controversy arising from the council's adoption of the Christological terminology of two natures in one person. However, most now agree that the controversy arose over semantics, not doctrine.Several of the Oriental Orthodox Churches have signed accords with the Catholic Church expressing that they share the same faith regarding Christ.The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of those that has moved closer to unity, notably thanks to a 1996 declaration signed by Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Karekin I on the nature of Jesus.

"Surely the growth in understanding, respect and cooperation which has emerged from ecumenical dialogue promises much for the proclamation of the Gospel in our time," Benedict XVI continued.Given that Catholics and Armenians live side by side around the world, the Holy Father expressed his certainty that an "increased understanding and appreciation of the apostolic tradition which we share will contribute to an ever more effective common witness to the spiritual and moral values without which a truly just and humane social order cannot exist."Mideast conflicts Due to historical circumstances, since 1441, there have been two Catholicosates in the Armenian Church with equal rights and privileges, and with their respective jurisdictions.

The primacy of honor of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin has always been recognized by the Catholicosate of Cilicia.The Catholicosate of Cilicia is based in Antelias, Lebanon.Thus, Benedict XVI expressed his concern and assured his prayer for the people of Lebanon and the Middle East."How can we not be grieved by the tensions and conflicts which continue to frustrate all efforts to foster reconciliation and peace at every level of civil and political life in the region," he said. "Most recently we have all been saddened by the escalation of persecution and violence against Christians in parts of the Middle East and elsewhere.

"Only when the countries involved can determine their own destiny, and the various ethnic groups and religious communities accept and respect each other fully, will peace be built on the solid foundations of solidarity, justice and respect for the legitimate rights of individuals and peoples."

Be a Hero in Your Own Little Piece of God’s Earth!

Rev 14:1-5 / Lk 21:1-4
Heroes fascinate and beguile us, but they also confuse us, because the choices they make and the sacrifices they so willingly offer on behalf of some great cause or other are hard to explain. Why would Mother Teresa abandon an interesting and comfortable teaching career among the affluent to work with the poor whose bodies stank and whose sentences didn’t parse? Why would the 17th-century Jesuit missionaries to North America trade the safety and fascinations of university life for life among Indians who showed little interest in learning about Christ and who ultimately killed the whole lot of them?

Questions like those could be asked thousands of times over, as they could be asked of the poor woman in today’s Gospel, who gave her last penny to those who were even poorer than she. There is no answer to any of those questions and none of those choices make any sense at all until and unless we consider the faith-love factor.

Only the world-vision that faith gives us, the confident belief that each of us is loved and cherished by an infinite God, can provide anyone with sufficient energy (we call it “grace”) to reach out with confidence and joy to love and take care of our brothers and sisters. Whatever the shape of our reaching out, the power to do it and to sustain it faithfully comes from beyond ourselves. It comes from the One Who loved us first, and Who was willing to die for that love.
St. Paul said it so well: “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” It’s true of us all. Trust that and be a hero in your own little piece of God’s earth.

by:catholic exchanged

Monday, 24 November 2008

Today's Inspirational Quote:

"One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone
is to beat him at politeness."
-- Josh Billings

Self-Interest Will Destroy World, Says Pope

Urges Practicing Love for One's Neighbor

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 23, 2008 ( Do good and the Kingdom of God will be realized in our midst, act according to self-interest and the world will be destroyed, says Benedict XVI.The Pope said this today, the solemnity of Christ the King, in a reflection on the Final Judgment before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.Referring to the parable of the Final Judgment in Matthew's Gospel --

"I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me" -- the Holy Father said the passage "has become a part of our civilization.""The images are simple, the language is popular, but the message is extremely important," he said. "It is the truth about our ultimate destiny and lays down the criteria by which we will be judged.""Who does not know this passage," the Pontiff asked.

"It has marked the history of peoples of Christian culture, their hierarchy of values, their institutions, and their many benevolent and social organizations."Kingdom Come The Kingdom of God, continued Benedict XVI, "is not of this world, but it brings to fulfillment all the good that, thanks to God, exists in man and history. If we put love of our neighbor into practice, according to the Gospel message, then we are making room for the lordship of God, and his Kingdom will realize itself in our midst."If instead, each of us thinks only of his own interests, the world cannot but be destroyed."The Pope also reminded the faithful that the "Kingdom of God is not a question of honors and appearances, but, like St. Paul writes, it is 'justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.'"

"The Lord has our own good at heart, that is, that every man have life, and that especially the 'least' of his children be admitted to his feast, which he has prepared for all," he said. "Because of this he has no use for the hypocritical ones who say 'Lord, Lord,' but have neglected his commandments."God will accept into his eternal kingdom those who have made the effort every day to put his word into practice. This is why the Virgin Mary, the most humble of his creatures, is the greatest in his eyes and sits as Queen at the right of Christ the King."

M'sian archbishop dead after boat capsize in Guatemala

Dear friends,

I am sending you this piece of sad news about the circumstances that led to the sad demise of Bishop Julius Paul.

The Lutheran World Federation is making arrangements for the body to be flown back to Kuala Lumpur. Funeral arrangements will be announced by the ELCM in due time.

Please keep Bishop Paul's wife, Shanta and the three children, Suren, Navin and Lalithain your prayers.

Yours sincerely,
Hermen Shastri

Nov 24, 08 8:35am

A Malaysian archbishop (Lutheran), a Frenchman and a Guatemalan drowned, and three other people were missing late Sunday, after a boat carrying 14 people capsized in Lake Atitlan, about 170km west of the Guatemalan capital.
The bodies of the drowning victims were identified as Malaysian archbishop Julius Danaraj Paul, French tourist Guillermo Fresseth and Guatemalan Valerio Jowittz Cotzal, the Public Ministry's assistant prosecutor, Diego Sisay, told local press.
Sisay said relief workers are still working to locate the three other people who disappeared during the incident, which occurred Saturday afternoon.
Survivors indicated that the boat was overloaded and capsized after strong winds hit the region, according to Sisay.
The accident occurred three kilometers from the pier at Santiago Atitlan, a town popular with tourists, and near the Isle of Los Gatos in the Santiago Atitlan Bay .
Roberto Vega, chief operating officer of the National Civil Police, said that the passengers were immediately assisted by other boats in the vicinity as well as local emergency personnel who rescued the survivors.
The boat's operator, Oscar Rene Sajbin, was being questioned by authorities to determine responsibility and to clarify details of the tragedy, Vega added.
Lake Atitlan is one of Guatemala 's top tourist destinations.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Pope's Schedule for November-January

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2008 (
Here is a list of the celebrations Benedict XVI will preside over in November through January. The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff released the agenda today.* *

*NOVEMBER-- Saturday 29: At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, First Vespers for the first Sunday of Advent.

-- Sunday 30: First Sunday of Advent. Pastoral visit to the Roman basilica of San Lorenzo for the 1,750th anniversary of the martyrdom of the deacon saint. Mass at 9.45 a.m.

DECEMBER-- Monday 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At 4 p.m. in Rome's Piazza di Spagna, homage to Mary Immaculate.--
Wednesday 24: Vigil of the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord. Midnight Mass in the Vatican Basilica.--
Thursday 25: Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord. At midday from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.--

Wednesday 31: At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, First Vespers of thanksgiving for the past year.
JANUARY 2009--

Thursday 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and 42nd World Day of Peace. Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.--

Tuesday 6: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.-- Sunday, 11: Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. Mass in the Sistine Chapel at 10 a.m., conferment of the Sacrament of Baptism upon a number of children.--

Sunday 25: Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. At 5.30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, celebration of Vespers.

Holy See: It's Easier to Get a Gun Than an Education

Urges Compliance With Armaments Treaties
NEW YORK, NOV. 20, 2008 ( The Holy See is decrying a world situation in which it is easier to get a weapon than to obtain food, shelter and an education.Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, affirmed this Wednesday at the U.N. Security Council meeting on "Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Strengthening Collective Security Through General Regulation and Reduction of Armaments."
"The dramatic consequences of the illicit global arms trade call the international community to redouble its commitment to create new control mechanisms," he said.

The issue of regulating and reducing armaments is linked with worldwide security problems, the Holy See official continued. He noted: "Recently […] we heard a delegate from Africa say that 'for every African, there are seven illicit bullets and three guns targeted at him or her. This is scandalous especially at a time when an unacceptably high ratio of the world's population still lives below the poverty line.'""This," Archbishop Migliore lamented, "is but one example among many. My delegation shares the grave concern of conflict-ridden countries, whose experience tells us that illicit trade in arms, their accumulation and illicit production are a hindrance to the peaceful settlement of disputes, turn tensions into armed conflicts and are a key factor in prolonging them, thus heavily compromising peace and development.

"He continued: "The lack of regulation and commitment to reducing global arms supply has created a world in which weapons are more easily obtainable than food, shelter and education. Clearly, by dedicating even a portion of the $1.3 trillion spent on arms to programs designed to promote the full social, economic and spiritual growth of people, we will not only be creating a better and safer world but also promoting a new respect for life and one another."In this context, the archbishop made a plea for peace in Congo, saying the Holy See "strongly condemns the massacres being committed under the eyes of the international community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and calls for all efforts to stop this human tragedy.

"In that regard, the prelate urged the speedy implementation of the Nairobi Protocol on Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons.Finally, Archbishop Migliore affirmed that the Holy See delegation "fully agrees with the need to develop a new security consensus which will assist in achieving the internationally agreed development goals, security and respect for human rights. Greater efforts, political will, transparency, flexibility and openness are needed. My delegation shares the view that to begin such a process, the first and most important step is to ensure that states abide by the treaties they have signed and ratified."
Today's Inspirational Quote:
"Experience is a hard teacher because
she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards."
-- Vernon Sanders Law

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Today's Inspirational Quote:

"Good advice is something a man gives

when he is too old to set a bad example."

-- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Bishop Prays for Obama’s Conversion

Calls on Catholics to Integrate Faith and Politics

FARGO, North Dakota, NOV. 17, 2008 ( The next months will require tireless work from Catholics in order to preserve the fundamental right to life, and from priests to make Church teaching known, says a U.S. prelate.
Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo affirmed this in a column written for the November issue of New Earth, his diocesan newspaper.

He congratulated president-elect Barack Obama, and assured him of prayers for "the conversion of his heart and mind to recognize the dignity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death and the truth that no government has the right to legalize abortion."

Observing Obama's voting record and his public support of the Freedom of Choice Act, the prelate asserted that the president-elect opposes the position of the Catholic Church. He added: "On a purely political level, he even disagrees with the majority of Americans, who at least want some limits on abortion.

"The Church, and most especially bishops and priests, will need to make the teaching of the Church known to every Catholic."

Clear teaching

Bishop Aquila wrote about letters he received expressing a desire for more outspoken and clear teaching on abortion. He stated, "Catholics need to promote the Gospel of Life and understand, as Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessors have made definitive and clear, that the question of the moral legality of abortion is non-negotiable. It is always and everywhere wrong, and this moral truth must be enshrined in law in every civil society."

He addressed the misunderstandings that he encountered regarding a Catholic's role faced to abortion. "Abortion is an intrinsic evil," he explained, "which means that in no circumstance is it permitted nor may it ever be supported, even as a means to a good end."

The prelate reiterated the message of other U.S. bishops, on the central and primary importance of the issue of human life among the many other political issues to be weighed in the balance.
Faith in politics

The bishop addressed the misunderstanding about the relationship between the Church and the state, and more particularly, how each Catholic is called to live his faith in daily life and political decisions. He lamented the removal of "religious and moral values from the public square," observing that "some Catholics in the separation of their faith from decisions in the political order abandon God and embrace secular atheism."

"Abandoning the truth," he continued, "is directly opposed both to our ideals as Christians and to the founding principles of our country as seen in the Declaration of Independence which acknowledges the ‘laws of nature's God' and ‘the Creator.'"
The prelate quoted from the nation's first president, George Washington: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."

Based in these ideals of the founding fathers, as well as the teachings of the Church, Bishop Aquila called on Catholics to live out their faith: "Being faithful to the call and mission given to us by God can never be limited to Sunday worship, but requires the surrender of our complete and entire lives.

"If we are faithful Catholics, everything we do will be influenced by our relationship with God, his truth, his love and his constant inspiration. If we withhold the beauty and truths about human life from our nation's laws, we diminish our society."

Monday, 17 November 2008

Today's Inspirational Quote:

"To listen closely and reply well is
the highest perfection we are able
to attain in the art of conversation."

-- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Malaysian universities losing out to Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines

for your record...

Posted by kasee:
Malaysia Today
Sunday, 16 November 2008 11:53

Malaysia is losing out in the unrelenting battle for international competitiveness among nations, with Malaysian universities even losing out to universities in Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines – something completely unthinkable in the first three decades of our nationhood.

For the second consecutive year, Malaysia had fallen completely out of the list of the world's Top 200 Universities this year in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) - Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

The national shame of Malaysia falling completely out of the list of the world's Top 200 Universities this year in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) - Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings is being compounded by the ignominy of Malaysian universities losing out not only to top universities in Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea but also to other South East Asian nations like Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.

The 2008 THES-QS rankings should be a "wake-up" call to the Higher Education Minister and the Cabinet of the advanced crisis of higher education in Malaysia, but I have given up hope that the Barisan Nasional government is capable of "waking up"!

For the second consecutive year, there is not only not a single university in the 2008 THES-QS Top 200 Universities list, there is also not a single university in the separate ranking of Top 100 Universities for five subject areas – Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities; Life Sciences and Biomedicine; and Technology.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Malaya (UM) were in the 2006 Ranking, placed No. 185 and 192 respectively. UKM plunged to 309 last year and improved to 250 this year while UM fell to 246 last year improving slightly to 230 this year – but both remain outside the Top 200 Universities ranking.

The government named Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as the Apex University but it has a dismal international rankings after being included once in the Top 200 Universities list – No. 111 in 2004, No. 326 in 2005, 277 in 2006, No. 307 in 2007 and No. 313 in 2008.

It is both sad and pathetic that our Apex University, the USM, at No. 313 ranking, is not only left far behind in South East Asia by Singapore (National University of Singapore No. 30 and Nanyang Technological University No. 77) but also by Thailand (Chulalongkorn University No. 166), Indonesia (University of Indonesia No. 287) and the Philippines (Ateneo de Manila University No. 254 and University of the Philippines No. 276).

Until last year, Malaysian universities were all ranked well ahead of the Indonesian universities, but in the 2008 THES-QS World Top Universities ranking, Indonesian universities are catching up with Malaysian universities in leaps and bounds.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Today's Inspirational Quote:

"We can draw lessons from the past,
but we cannot live in it."

-- Lyndon B. Johnson

Obama name craze for Kenya babies

Mothers in Kenya have marked Barack Obama's historic win in the US presidential elections by naming their newborns after him and his wife.
More than half of the babies born in a Kisumu Hospital on the day after the election were named either Barack or Michelle Obama.

Kisumu is close to the village where Mr Obama's father

was born and raised and Mr Obama is a local hero.

The region erupted in celebration after he won the race for the White House.
Out of 15 babies born in the New Nyanza Provincial Hospital in the western city of Kisumu on Wednesday, five boys were named Barack Obama and three girls were called Michelle.
-also in the news by: BBC News

Vatican Aide Cautions Obama on Ethics

Says Some Humans Shouldn't Be Used for Others
By Carmen Villa

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2008 ( The president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry is warning the president elect of the United States that it is unethical to give the green light to embryonic stem-cell research.Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán said this today during a press conference to present the dicastery's upcoming international conference on child illness. He was responding to a question regarding an announcement Sunday from Barack Obama's team that the future president would reverse the policy of George Bush and give the go-ahead to embryonic stem cell research.

A basic principle of bioethics, the cardinal recalled, is that "what builds up man is good, what destroys him is bad."Noting that human dignity is an end in itself, and not a means that can be manipulated, the Vatican official affirmed: "One person can never be used as a means for another."It is not possible to kill one human being to save another, he insisted.Moreover, Cardinal Lozano Barragán noted that there are many other ways to get stem cells, such as by extracting them from the umbilical cord or other organs."When we're dealing with transplants that endanger neither the donor nor the receiver, everything is welcome; there is no question to the contrary," he said.

Furthermore, the prelate noted, there is misinformation in the public sphere about stem cells. They were initially presented as a "panacea," he said, but stem cells taken from embryos have yet to give any of the promised results.Professor Alberto Ugazio, coordinator of the department of pediatric medicine at the Bambino Gesù hospital of Rome, seconded the cardinal's affirmation.

With the use of embryonic stem cells "not even one study has given positive results," he said. Meanwhile, the doctor explained, lives have been saved with stem cells taken from other parts of the body.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Today's Inspirational Quote:

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like
and let the food fight it out inside."

-- Mark Twain

Note: eating not just food...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Vatican: Catholic-Muslim Forum a "Step Forward"

Spokesman Said Much Work Is Still to Be Done

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 9, 2008 (
- The first seminar of the Muslim-Catholic Forum was "a significant step forward in dialogue," says a Vatican spokesman.Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, made this claim on the last episode of "Octava Dies," a weekly program of the Vatican Television Center.

The three-day Catholic-Muslim meeting ended Thursday in Rome.The Church, he recalled, "has regular meetings with various groups of Muslim representatives," but this meeting "demonstrated the possibility of entering more deeply and frankly into essential themes and of successfully expressing, with greater clarity and fidelity, that which unites and differentiates [us]."The final joint declaration "contains important statements about respect for persons and their choices in matters of conscience and religion [and] on the equal dignity of men and women."

Father Lombardi said that Benedict XVI is encouraging the efforts at dialogue.The Vatican spokesman characterized the dialogue of the forum as "open" and taking place in "a climate of trust." He added that there are hopes that the dialogue will extend itself to larger circles in the Christian and Muslim world.

The priest observed that the often bloody conflicts between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East and the Balkans have made the dialogue "complex and difficult, but they must not hamper or stop it."Benedict XVI, Father Lombardi said, has invited the two sides to "unite their efforts, with the goal of overcoming incomprehension, overcoming prejudices and correcting the distorted image of the other.""The road remains a long one but this is a step in the right direction," Father Lombardi concluded.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Today's Inspirational Quote:

"You don't stop laughing
because you grow old. You grow old
because you stop laughing."

-- Michael Pritchard

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Evolution Doesn't Contradict Bible, Cardinal Affirms

Also Falls Short of Solving Great Philosophical Question
ROME, NOV. 3, 2008 (
There is no incompatibility between the scientific theory of evolution and the Christian understanding of creation, says the archbishop of Vienna.Cardinal Christoph Schönborn affirmed this Friday at the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which ends tomorrow. The academy is considering "Scientific Insight Into the Evolution of the Universe and of Life."The prelate explained that there is no contradiction between evolution and a belief in creation, but rather a "conflict between two diverse concepts of man and his rationality, between the Christian vision and a rationalism that pretends to reduce man to the biological dimension.

"Citing various addresses from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before and after his election as Pope, the Austrian cardinal explained that "there are many proofs in favor of evolution."Nevertheless, he stressed, "though this theory enriches our knowledge of life, it doesn't respond to the great philosophical question: Where does everything come from and how did this everything take a path until coming to be man?"Therefore, Cardinal Schönborn contended, the key is discovering "that a preceding idea exists, that man is not the fruit of chaos, but that he 'has been thought of,' 'wanted' and 'loved'" by the Creator.

In the same vein, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, explained to Vatican Radio that the theory of evolution is even closer to the biblical account of creation than many other theories."Considering the fact that the Bible presents us with a God who created the world in seven days, the idea of a progressive creation is introduced," he explained. "In this sense, it is closer than, for example, the theories of the ancient Greeks, who thought of an eternal and cyclical world."The difficulty arises, the bishop went on, not with the evolution theory in itself, but with "philosophies that are based on evolutionism and that are materialist, which say that only material exists. But this is not science, rather it is philosophy."

"Scientific theories are used to make philosophical interpretations, or if you prefer, atheist [interpretations], affirming that everything is chaos," Bishop Sánchez Sorondo continued. "But I repeat, this is a philosophical opinion, which, in truth, is not held by the great scientists, who are almost all believers."According to the pontifical academy official, the Church "is open to what science says. What's more, it's very interested in science, because it speaks of nature. The Church has always believed that nature was created by God and that man forms part of nature."

Monday, 3 November 2008

We are Bangsa Malaysia (Song)

Posted by Vineeth Menon
Sunday, 02 November 2008 19:20

There comes a time,
we head a certain call ,
When the world must come together as one

There are people NEPLESS
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all We can't go on Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need [Chorus]

We are the malaysia
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start sharing
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand [Chorus]

We are the malaysia
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start sharing
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one [Chorus]
We are the malaysia
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start sharing
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Compiled by : Qualified Observer