When ever I read anything by Pope Benedict XVI, I am always amazed at the beauty of what he says. His last address is no exception. I'm going to really miss him as pope. The full text of Pope Benedict XVI's last address:
The idea is circulating that politicians need 4 years in power (and opposition) to get more done. All for "our" benefit of course. The rule in political negotiation is NEVER give away something of value without getting something in return. Given that once the politicians have decided 4 year terms is what they want, the rest will be inevitable. So slow them down a little - start asking for something in return. Here's two things to add to that list: 1. Voter veto on important legislation. 2. The ability to "vote out" a Minister, particularly a list MP. Let's remind MPs they were put there to serve us and be accountable to us. A four year term makes them less accountable. We should get something in return.
This is a pretty typical accusation: Catholicism is directly responsible for hundreds of thousands (millions?) of deaths due to the spread of AIDS in Africa by discouraging condom use. [ LudditeJourno on the Hand Mirror ] That seems to me a particularly silly thing to say. Aside from the fact that the DIRECT causes are something far more obvious, I fail to understand how the Church advocating not using condoms would make ANY difference to non-Catholics. Q1. Does anyone seriously think non-Catholics will "obey" this suggestion? And for Catholics, this suggestion is part of a larger list. It is taken out of that list, breaking the context, by the media. The full message is: 1. No sex before marriage. 2. No condoms (be open to life) 3. No adultery Q2. Do you think Catholics are going to follow the second directive whilst they are actively ignoring the first and third? The whole contraception thing comes off as an overly simplistic way of playing the blame gam
Cameron Slater, aka Whale Oil, is an anti-Catholic of the most virulent type . I've come across a number of them now, and I find it's really difficult to converse calmly with them. They tend to have beliefs of the most extreme kind, and like conspiracy theorists of the type who believe all our world leaders are actually alien reptiles, don't believe anything you tell them unless it matches their imaginary framework. In this case, Whale Oil seems to believe the purpose of the Catholic Church is to act as a front for child sex abuse around the world. If he doesn't believe that, then he's still happy to put that view forward in his posts. But first, the post Another dodgy Catholic priest , where Whale shows he doesn't care about correcting errors of logic and fact when they are pointed out to him. He said, of the story that he links to: This is just going to keep on keeping on until the Church actually addresses what appears to be a systemic problem with
Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, the academic vice-rector of the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome and head of its Institute of Psychology, talked with NCR to discuss Benedict’s record and the fallout from last’s year international summit on the sex abuse crisis held at the Gregorian, and co-sponsored by several Vatican departments. Now that Benedict XVI is stepping down, how do you evaluate his legacy on the sexual abuse scandals? Based on what I know personally, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he was the first person, and the most determined person, to take on what he called the ‘open wound’ in the body of the church, meaning the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. He came to know about a number of cases, and the intensity of the wounds inflicted on victims. He became aware of what priests had done to minors, and to vulnerable adults. As a result, he became more and more convinced that it has to be tackled, and at various levels he started to deal with it – the cano
Well, it seems all the anti-Catholics are out in force, casting aspersions on the character of Pope Benedict, accusing him of covering up child abuse in the Church, when he has done the most in the Church to combat it. They think that there is something explosive that Pope Benedict is running from that has forced him to abdicate, disregarding the notion that the burdens and workload of the papacy, which would be very difficult for men much younger to keep up with, and his advanced age of 85 at which few are active in public life and then only as figureheads such as Queen Elizabeth II, might actually be the real reason why he is moving aside for someone younger! No, no, it has to be some nefarious reason, he can't just abdicate! They probably think this because of idea of relinquishing power just like that seem inexplicable to them, so there must be a hidden reason. How many of them think they'd be capable of running a world-wide organisation at 85, or do they just envi
Protected from the pretty colours and bold fonts March 2014 - In a stunning blow to the Tobacco lobby, the government has banned the use of Helvetica font (and many others) on plain cigarette packaging. Once the new legislation is in force, advertisers will be forced to choose between only Courier and Times New Roman when adding printed messages on their products. Whilst the bill was known as "Helvetica 12" the legislation included a long list of fonts that were now deemed illegal for the purposes of advertising. The full list wasn't fully known as the list was delivered in 6 point font, and no-one had a magnifying glass handy. Helvetica font was singled out based on solid, peer reviewed overseas research. The study indicated consumers were more likely to buy a packet of cigarettes when noticing key words such as "Camel" in Helvetica 12, 14 and 16. Young people aged 12, 14 and 16 were most susceptible according to the data. "This is a fantastic
Opinion: Turia has absolutely smashed Big Tobacco ~ 3 News Hmmmm.... Is the proposed law to make smokes only available in plain packages something that conservatives should be concerned about? I'm not sure ... Smoking is legal, the product causes no moral harm to the individual, it doesn't impair mental capacity - but it can cause health problems. Except some people can smoke their entire lives and live to a ripe old age. Other product can also have a massive effect on health, and are probably just as addictive - such as sugar. Personally, I'd prefer that my kids were addicted to cigarettes than to mind altering drugs. The irony here is that while the Government clamps down on smokes, there are repeated pushes for the relaxing of laws around marijuana, a far worse substance to take in to the body than smoking in my opinion, as it does cause mental impairment. If smoking is so bad, why not just ban it outright? I would guess there are still too many voters wh
There have been a number of idiotic articles posted online about Pope Benedict XVI's abdication, so many that it's hard to keep track. Here is one that I noticed that was published on Stuff last week. This article is a mish-mash of various bits and pieces in order to, not so much to prove, but to infer that the Vatican was being disingenous when it said that very few people knew about when Pope Benedict XVI was going to resign. Holes appear in story of pope's resignation For an institution devoted to eternal light, the Vatican has shown itself to be a master of smokescreens since Pope Benedict XVI's shock resignation announcement. On Thursday (local time), the Vatican spokesman acknowledged that Benedict hit his head and bled profusely while visiting Mexico in March. Two days earlier the same man acknowledged that Benedict has had a pacemaker for years, and underwent a secret operation to replace its battery three months ago. And as the Catholic world reeled
For those who missed it, here is Dr Ben Carson's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast a few weeks ago. It made quite an impact for the fact that he was quite critical of some of the Administration's policies and Barrack Obama and his wife were sitting right there. He makes some good points about Political Correctness stopping us saying what we want to say, education, and taxes. If you have not heard of him, Dr Carson pioneered hemisphereoctomies in surgery - that is removing an entire half of a brain when it has a tumour etc. This can only be done up until the age of three years old because before three, the other half of the brain will take over the functions of the missing half, but not after that age. Some are asking whether he will run for President. Ben Carson: Gifted Hands
I've added two new blog pages. Lost Posts , for all those posts that may have been published and accidentally (or on purpose) deleted for reasons unknown. As I discover which ones they are, I will put in a link to the Google Wayback Machine, if an archive link exists. Book List , all the essential reading for those who come here because they like what we have to say. It's pretty sparse at the moment, but I will be filling it up.
Liberals busy attacking Prosser for his rant against Muslims seem to be worried that saying such things is dangerous around Muslims. Consider this somewhat unguarded statement by Sean Plunket: "Here's hoping Mr Prosser hasn't convinced any moderate young New Zealand Muslim to strap on a bomb or hijack a plane because people like him will never let them truly belong in our country" and that's just the moderates that Sean Plunket typecasts as prone to flipping out completely. I suspect Sean hasn't quite realised that such statements actually suggest Prosser's sentiments dwell even within the PC crowd - this fear that moderates are merely one bad word away from becoming extremists. Aside from that amusing slip, Sean's article was actually quite good - it made some good points and fun of the MPs scrambling to declare that what one MP says might not reflect their views. Yes, very important to establish that in front of the offended moderates (aka p
" MPs from other parties have condemned Mr Prosser's comments as offensive and racist. Labour Party leader David Shearer said they could incite hostility against people in New Zealand and overseas. That's an ironic statement from Shearer. He's effectively said: "I'm not a bigot, but don't say anything to upset the Muslim nut-jobs, because they might go ballistic and kill Kiwis" Mind you, change 'Muslim' to 'Catholic' and he'd probably be a national hero by now, crowned by the same PC crowd currently demanding a ritual lynching of Prosser. We'll see over the next few years how serious the NZ Government is on freedom of religion What is also interesting is watching this situation being turned into an opportunity to lynch David Shearer for Prosser's misbehaviour. Not that he's being criticised for the point I made above - no, the tweet went out from @MutchJessica at TVNZ razing Shearer for not coming out strongly
Who was St. Valentine? Father O'Gara, in a post on the Christian Broadcasting Network , tells us: "He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time," Father O'Gara explains. " He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people . This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died." "I think we must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived ," says Father O'Gara. "Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And s
A fantastic win for the ladies. No more Gender Discrimination in the EU! Apparently a recent EU ruling has banned using gender as a basis for setting insurance costs. So for male drivers under 24, car insurance premiums go down by up to 50%, whilst for females under 24 they go up. Now I thought the reality was that more males get into car accidents that females, and so the premiums reflect some element of risk based on AGE and GENDER. So, with this latest win for those promoting a genderless society, why is it OK to discriminate against age? Well, actually, it isn't if one applies the same reasoning. Today it's car insurance, and does that mean tomorrow it is health insurance? Health insurance premiums for males are usually much higher than a female of the same age, and way higher than younger people. As all forms of discrimination are stamped out, the end result of this will be that the people that should pay higher premiums, will pay lower premiums as others bear
Yes, this really happened, some hours after the announcement. Related link: Photo: Lightning Strikes Vatican After Pope's Resignation ~ Weather AOL UPDATE: Another picture of the lightening. The source is an Italian photographer . Maybe he took two photos, or he's just posted a clearer, cropped version. UPDATE 2: And here's a video:
Live reaction from around the world with The Guardian Why Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered for generations ~ Timothy Stanley, CNN Okay…okay… let’s talk about the “prophecies of Malachy” about Popes ~ What Does the Prayer Really Say? 10 Reasons Benedict's Resignation Is A Good Thing ~ Aggie Catholics Director of the Holy See Press Office on the Pope's Resignation ~ Vatican Information Service Pope Benedict's Devotion to Saint Celestine Signaled His Resignation from the Papacy ~ Dr Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI ~ Russell D. Moore, First Things Benedict XVI the Precedent Setting Pope ~ Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on My Head
This is a very interesting story: His appointment went practically unnoticed but is proof of the great trust Benedict XVI has in the Opus Dei as part of his strategy to silently clean up the Roman Curia in the aftermath of the Vatileaks scandal . The Vatican City State has a new inspector: Rafael García de la Serrana Villalobos. Last 26 January, the priest was appointed vice director of the Department of Technical Services for the Governorate of the world’s smallest State. And he was not chosen by chance. Only yesterday he was head of logistics at the Opus Dei headquarters in Rome. The not-quite-50-year-old priest was ordained presbyter on 23 May 2009. His is a classical “adult vocation” that was born within the body founded by San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. An engineer by training , he coupled the skills needed in his new task with a deep spirituality. He came to the Vatican after what had been a truly “black year” as a result of the Vatileaks affair (the scandal which br
A Christian journalist in Christchurch has "admitted to three charges of making intimate visual recordings and 40 charges of possessing objectionable publications - images and stories" , and has been sentenced to home detention. Now, as this journalist is also a Christian, the anti-Christian elements of the Blogosphere have leapt all over this story, pointing out the man's hypocrisy of being a Christian and being against moral degradation in society in public and being a pervert in secret. It seems the worst crime a Christian can commit in liberal circles is that of speaking out against moral degeneration and being a moral degenerate himself, and thus committing the ultimate liberal crime of hypocrisy . Which is not so much a crime in their minds as they would make you think it is, but more something they use to catch moral crusaders out on. In David Farrar's post on this journalist , David added a piece at the end that had been written by the man ten years ago
Air New Zealand is again under investigation over the credit card fees it charges passengers.It is the second time in a year the airline has come under scrutiny for fees that could breach the Fair Trading Act. The airline charges a $4 processing fee on all domestic bookings made by credit or debit card... Yes indeed, a government watchdog, always on the alert for corporates adding surcharges to their fees, are worried that AIR NZ are gouging the customer. Adding an extra surcharge on top of the total price. And yet, the requirement for AIR NZ, and indeed every single business and council in NZ to add an additional fee of 15% on the top never gets any sort of scrutiny at all. Oh, the hypocrisy. Watchdog investigates wrong surcharge
The Dom Post's highlighted letter to the editor speaks badly for the DomPost for picking it, and for the person writing in. It demonstrates leftist thinking, so the errors in logic are applauded rather than detected for the errors in logic that they are. The letter seeks to beat up Paula Bennett for making a reasonable comment. The letter goes like this: Paula Bennett's enthusiastic acceptance of a charity programme launching in NZ schools is all the more depressing when you consider her comment that "society as a whole" needs to have input into poverty. If she doesn't believe the state represents "society as a whole" could she tell us who exactly she thinks the state represents? - Signed Don Kavanagh So let's go through this to see the problems with the Dom Post's "letter of the week": We can argue the state doesn't represent "society as a whole", as Don seems to think is obvious. It's a bureaucratic machine,
It's the beginning of a new school year, and like every year, there's always moaning about school "donations" that seem compulsory even though they are called donations. Last week there was some mention of these "donations" on talk-back radio, and even this morning, the Wellington host of NewsTalkZB is bringing them up. Yet no one that I've heard so far actually understands why we have "donations" to schools that aren't voluntary. It's very simple. New Zealand has signed up to a whole lot of United Nations treaties, and in one of them, the Convention on the Rights of the Child which we signed in 1990 and ratified in 1993 , we guarantee the right of every child to have access to a free education. Article 28a of the Convention of the Rights of the Child states that we will: Make primary education compulsory and available free to all; Our reservations when signing the treaty were: Nothing in this Convention shall affect the
Same-sex marriage has been passed by the House of Commons in Britain. Here's a very quick summary. MPs have voted for the gay marriage bill by 400 votes to 175 - a majority of 225. Such a large majority probably increases the chances of the bill being able to get through the House of Lords this year, without the government having to rely on the Parliament Act to push it through in 2014. More than half of the Tory MPs who voted chose to oppose gay marriage. Initial figures suggest that 139 Tories voted against, and only 132 voted for. Technically this is not a rebellion, because it was a free vote. But it is a severe embarrassment to David Cameron. Part of the Left's primary agenda over the decades is to weaken the strength of the family, the traditionally married man and woman, raising children together. The problem being that men and women pass on their values to their children and if you are trying to make a new world, a socialist utopia, then you need to break th
An international paedophile ring with New Zealand connections has been exposed by police, saving four children from further abuse, police say. Aaron John Ellmers , 41, appeared in Hastings District Court today where he pleaded guilty to about 60 charges including sexual violation of children , stupefying, making an intimate visual recording, dealing in people for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a child under 12. He was remanded in custody for sentence in the High Court at Hastings in May. Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said it was at the "absolute highest end'' of child sexual offending in the country, and successfully argued for sentencing to be moved to the High Court. Ellmers also had a previous conviction for similar offending in Australia, the court was told. People like this should not be out in the community without some sort of warning about their background. Here is a man who was already convicted in Australia, yet he comes over
From yesterday's Dominion Post, a swipe at Gareth Morgan and the potential consequence of his dreams of a bird utopia - being overrun by rats and mice: Of greater, more immediate concern to me as a cat owner is the inspiration Gareth Morgan is giving to cat hating sadists. A couple of Sundays ago, a woman wrote into the Sunday Star Times a horrible story of her grandfather having successfully used a gin-trap to deter cats from his garden, and how when recommending the method to her friend on the Kapiti Coast, the friend was keen to try the same remedy and now no longer has her garden visited by cats. Here's the letter: Feline solution MY FRIEND has a pristine lawn and landscaped garden at her home on Wellington's Kapiti Coast. She complains of neighbour's cats invading her property, fighting, copulating, urinating, defacating, vomiting and digging up recently sewn plants. Her pleas for a solution to the council and SPCA have been to no avail as they don'
Yet another sex attack on a child in New Zealand: A man has been arrested over a sexual assault on an 8-year-old girl at a South Island beach at the weekend. The 20-year-old Invercargill man was arrested this morning and was due to appear in Invercargill District Court today, police said. The girl was assaulted at Oreti Beach on Saturday. My impression given the number of stories lately of sex attacks on children (the most horrendous being that vicious attack on a five year old tourist ) that New Zealand has a great many paedophiles just lurking around, just waiting to nab the nearest child. Is this sort of thing getting more common? I shudder to think. Related link: Man arrested over sex assault on young girl at beach ~ NZ Herald
From a Press Release by Family First pointing out the speed at which the Bill to redefine marriage (referred to below as the same-sex marriage bill), is much faster than other bills voted in a month before: “Other Members’ bills are not being rammed through at such speed. Some of these bills are being considered by the same Select Committee. The Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill was introduced a month before the same-sex marriage bill , and yet the Select Committee report is not due until August 2013 . The Lobbying Disclosure Bill also had its first reading a month before the same-sex marriage bill , yet the report is not due until the end of July . The Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill - a government bill – has 12 months for the Select Committee to consider.” “Yet the same-sex marriage bill has just six months to consider 20,000-plus submissions, hear oral submissions, and report back. This is a cynical but cal
I wasn't going to comment on the passing of Sir Paul Holmes, but after watching his last interview , I've just got to say Rest in Peace and I'll pray for his soul. Everyone's talking about celebrating his life, yet he says in the interview that he was frightened of what was on the other side and wanting to make his peace with God. So, I'll pray for him.