Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Pope is doing it again.

Tuesday’s comments by the Vatican’s second man, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone indicating a connection between “homosexuality and paedophilia” has led to furious reactions throughout the world. The cardinal, who made the comments in Santiago in Chile, says there is scientific evidence for his claims.

While the Pope, previous as a cardinal, himself may be guilty of covering up sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests! German magazine Die Zeit revealed last week that he personally appealed to a US bishop to stop a church trial of Father Murphy in 1998 for the sexual abuse of 200 deaf children. In a letter to the bishop he wrote 'that father Murphy had suffered enough and was in poor health'. My ass! No, not mine, his!

Hence, the Dutch gay rights organisation COC calls the cardinal’s claim at least as “absolute nonsense”. It says his words contradict a 2009 report by the US Bishops Conference that concludes that there is no connection between homosexuality and paedophilia. According to a spokesperson even the pope dismissed such a connection in The New York Times two years ago. (Cannot find the link again)
Another Dutch person, the Theology professor at Amsterdam’s Free University, Ruard Ganzevoort, says the comments demonstrate the chasm between the moral thinking of society and the moral thinking of the church. In the church’s eyes both are violations of the rules. And Pastoral psychologist Anke Bisshops says she has no idea which scientific evidence the cardinal is referring to. “It seems to be another Vatican slip up: either the Jews or homosexuals are to blame.”  She points out how inward-looking the Vatican is. In its culture this is not a strange thing to say, confirming how estranged the Roman Catholic church is to the rest of the world.
Inward looking and outward to innocent children!
On the picture above you can see how lively the Pope is.
No death threats from Catholic radical suicide bombers however...

Iceland; A Paradice for (internet) Journalists?

Iceland’s much anticipated “Truth Report” into the causes of the 2008 financial crisis has highlighted not only the “extreme negligence” of senior political and financial figures, but also the lack of openness and transparency about just what the country’s banking sector was getting up to. A new parliamentary initiative seeks to ensure that Icelanders will never be kept ignorant again.

When the Icelandic economy imploded in 2008, the citizens of the vast island with a tiny population were stunned. Most Icelanders had no idea their nation was so financially exposed. Government documents leaked to the public since then show that many in power knew exactly what was going on. Yesterday’s report into the financial crisis has also confirmed that the then head of Iceland’s central bank, along with the then prime minister, withheld information about the true state of the country’s economy.

Paradise for journalists

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, openness has become a catchword in Iceland, along with the belief that everyone has not just a right but also a duty to know what the government is getting up to in their name. One response to this is the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (Immi), a proposal supported by all parties that aims to make Iceland a haven for investigative journalists and whistleblowers everywhere.
The official website of the Immi says “Because of an economic meltdown in the banking sector, a deep sense is among the nation that a fundamental change is needed in order to prevent such events from taking place again”. The proposal tasks the government with adopting laws that provide strong protection for sources and freedom of expression and information both at home and abroad. As some nations are known as tax havens for their secrecy, the Immi suggests Iceland could be the opposite – a journalism paradise known for its openness.

The proposal has a practical as well as an idealistic side, suggesting that attracting internet-based international media and publishers could become a growth industry for Iceland.

Source: RWD

Day Opening - April 14

Old Monastary, Syria (nex weekend we will have a XXL weekend - we spend that weekend in Syria and Lebanon (Beirut)