Category Archives: News

Catholic Bishops Challenge Donald Trump on Immigration

Two nights after Donald J. Trump won the presidential election, Archbishop José H. Gomez convened an interfaith prayer service at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles and gave an emotional homilyvowing not to abandon children and parents who are living in fear that Mr. Trump will follow through on his promise to deport millions of immigrants.

“This should not be happening in America,” said Archbishop Gomez, who is himself an immigrant from Mexico and a naturalized United States citizen. “We are not this kind of people. We are better than this.”

Five days later, on Tuesday, Archbishop Gomez was elected by his brother bishops at their meeting in Baltimore to be vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. With nine candidates in the running— including some prominent prelates — it was the day’s most closely watched vote, especially since the vice president is traditionally elevated to president in three years. Keeping to custom, the bishops voted to bump up Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, to president.

The choice of Archbishop Gomez was only one sign that Catholic bishops are preparing to defend immigrants and refugees against a newly elected president who has threatened deportations and who critics say has uncorked an ugly backlash against immigrants and minorities. They opened their meeting by endorsing a strongly worded letter to Mr. Trump that extended congratulations but also put him on notice that the church was committed to resettling refugees and keeping immigrant families intact.

“A lot of bishops told me they were surprised by the actual fear they were hearing on the ground,” said Dylan Corbett, the executive director of the Hope Border Institute, an advocacy group on United States-Mexico border issues. He formerly worked for the bishops’ conference and attended the meeting in Baltimore.

In the past week, Latino parishioners and students at Catholic colleges have been “turning to the church, calling their pastors, and pastors are calling their bishops and asking what to expect,” Mr. Corbett said. “The bishops wanted to send a clear message of solidarity.”

On many other priorities, the bishops may find common cause with Mr. Trump. They are eager to see him follow through with campaign promises to end or limit abortion, reverse the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act and create exemptions for religious people and institutions objecting to same-sex marriage.

However, the protection of immigrants is not only a biblical imperative for Catholic leaders but also a matter of pastoral care: More than one-third of American Catholics are now Latinos, and many others are immigrants from dozens of other countries. Latinos represent the future of the church: Sixty percent of Catholics in the United States younger than 18 are Latino, and 90 percent of them were born here.

“The bishops of the United States recognize the presence of Latinos in our community, in our country and also in the church,” Archbishop Gomez said of his election at a news conference in Baltimore. “I think our mission is to help people be united in our country, and have hope.”

Archbishop Gomez is in line to become the first Latino president of the bishops conference. He was appointed to lead the Los Angeles archdiocese, the largest in the nation, in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI, who preceded Pope Francis. The archbishop is a member of the Catholic group Opus Dei and is seen as a conservative on doctrine. It surprised many church observers when Pope Francis recently passed over Archbishop Gomez in naming new cardinals — three from the United States — because Los Angeles is usually a cardinal’s seat.

Beginning in January, Catholic dioceses are undertaking a nearly two-year initiative to reach out to Hispanic Catholics and better integrate them into the church. Pope Francis, the first pope from Latin America, applauded the effort in a video message to the bishops, suggesting that it could have a broader impact “for a society gripped by disconcerting social, cultural and spiritual shifts, and increasing polarization.”

The election starkly revealed the polarization not only within the country, but also within the church. White Catholics preferred Mr. Trump over Hillary Clinton, 60 percent to 37 percent, while Hispanic Catholics favored Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump, 67 percent to 26 percent, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. The Catholic Church is the largest in the country, with 68 million members and about 23 percent of the electorate.

Pope Francis Eases Path to Absolution for Abortion

ROME — Pope Francis announced Tuesday that all Roman Catholic priests would be empowered to offer absolution for the “sin of abortion” during the church’s Holy Year of Mercy, which begins in December.

“I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision,” Francis said in a statement issued by the Vatican. “What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope.”

Francis’ offer is not without precedent — Pope John Paul II enabled priests to offer the same absolution during the last Holy Year, in 2000 — yet it shows his broader push to make Catholicism more merciful and welcoming.

Later this month, Francis is scheduled to visit Cuba and the United States and then return to the Vatican for a pivotal October meeting on whether the church will soften its approach on social issues like homosexuality and whether Catholics who have divorced and remarried without an annulment may receive the sacraments.

Vatican officials noted that Francis is not changing his opposition to abortion, nor is the church. Under Roman Catholic canon law, abortion brings automatic excommunication unless the person receiving or performing it confesses and receives absolution. Abortion is considered a “reserved sin,” meaning that permission to grant forgiveness usually must come from a bishop.

Though most bishops in the United States have already empowered their priests on the issue, many in other countries have not — meaning women seeking absolution can face delays, obstacles or rejection. Francis’ edict effectively streamlines the process for a single year.

“All priests will be ready to absolve women who have had an abortion and have repented — all over the world, for a whole year,” said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman. “It’s a widening of the church’s mercy on what is such a dramatic and widespread issue.”

Candida R. Moss, professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, said that Francis’ statement was not a doctrinal shift, but that it might serve to alert women who have felt disenfranchised by the church that they are welcome to return. “Even though John Paul II used much the same language, and forgiveness has always been available — albeit through more formal channels — that message wasn’t out there because the rhetoric that accompanies abortion is so elevated that it eclipses the church’s teaching on forgiveness and mercy,” she said in a statement.

Popes have been celebrating holy years since 1300, when Boniface VIII summoned pilgrims to Rome because travel to the Holy Land was too dangerous. Traditionally, the church has offered indulgences for an array of sins during these “Jubilee” years, which are celebrated every 25 years. Christians are urged to do penance and, if possible, make a pilgrimage to Rome.

In March, Francis used his papal discretion to call the “extraordinary” jubilee that begins in December. Two months later, with less notice, the Vatican announced that during the Holy Year, priests would be able to offer absolution for abortion, a move likely to please many liberal Catholics.

Interestingly, Francis on Tuesday also made a move that may appeal to some conservative Catholics by including priests with the schismatic Society of St. Pius X among those empowered to offer indulgences during the Holy Year.

Known as the Lefebvrist movement, the Society of St. Pius X is a breakaway group of traditionalists who reject the reforms the Second Vatican Council approved in the 1960s. The previous pope, Benedict XVI, sought to repair their breach with the Vatican. But the effort foundered after it was discovered that one of their bishops was giving talks denying the extent of the Holocaust.

Reconciliation talks have continued under Francis, and he said in his statement on Tuesday, “I trust that in the near future, solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors” of the society.

Francis has also sought to advance his environmental agenda, declaring Sept. 1 the first World Day of Prayer for Creation. When he announced it last month, he established it as an annual event and said he was following the lead of Orthodox Christian churches, which have been praying for the environment on this date for decades.

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

A woman performing the national anthem prior to an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt.

Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket just before she started to sing, revealing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt, then dropped to her left knee and performed the song. She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.

“We’re being unjustly killed and overly criminalized,” Lawrence wrote early Saturday in a Facebook post. “I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us.”

Miami Heat officials said they had no advance knowledge of Lawrence’s plan to protest. Lawrence, a social worker, kept the shirt hidden until her performance.

“I didn’t get paid to sing the national anthem nor was this moment about any sort of fame,” Lawrence wrote. “Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it’s a rallying cry.”

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports — and many levels, from youth all the way to professional — have followed his lead in various ways.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem prior to their game with Philadelphia, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. The team plans to continue standing that way for the anthem this season as a show of unity.

“Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action.”

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

“All I can say is what we’ve seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday in New York. “It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do.”

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence’s actions.

“At the end of the day, to each his own,” Ellington said. “If she feels like that’s the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her.”

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

“I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans,” Tysse wrote on Facebook. “I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability.”

Android Circuit: Pixel XL Review, New Galaxy S8 Leaks And Rumors, Challenging Google’s Perfect Pixel

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the internet’s hot takes on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, why the reaction to the Pixel is different to the iPhone, how the Pixel family will establish Google in the consumer market (while avoiding a challenge with Apple), Samsung’s continuing Note 7 nightmare, more leaks on the Galaxy S8′s feature list, Huawei challenging Qualcomm’s SnapDragon, and Google’s Material Design Awards.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Everybody Loves The Pixel

Google’s consumer-focused smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL are now on sale. Earlier this week the first reviews were published, and Mountain View’s handset is a critical hit, mixing tweaks to Android, top line specifications, and a tighter integration of hardware and software compared to previous Android devices. It might be a powerhouse inside, but the outside of the smartphone looks a touch familiar.

While the Pixel XL’s outline is iPhone like, the back is unique and distinctive. The top third of the phone’s rear is made of glass and protects the 12MP main shooter, flash, laser AF sensor, secondary mic, and fingerprint reader. It’s not so much a camera pod as it is a camera surface, since it’s flush with the aluminum body, and hopefully the glass is hard enough to prevent accidental scratches to the lens.

It is clear that the geekerati have fallen in love with the Pixel and Pixel XL. The question now is whether that love is universal and will sell the device to the consumers, of whether it remains a device with limited appeal – a fate which befell Google’s Nexus devices. My roundup of the first It is clear that the geekerati have fallen in love with the Pixel and Pixel XL. The question now is whether that love is universal and will sell the device to the consumers, of whether it remains a device with limited appeal – a fate which befell Google’s Nexus devices. My roundup of the first reviews can be read here on Forbes.

Calling Out The Pixel’s Problems

Rene Ritchie has an alternative take on the love for Google’s Pixel and it comes both from a love of new technology and wondering why Google has been given a free hall pass over issues such as a lack of waterproofing or optical image stabilisation… the same issues that were used to criticise Apple’s iPhone 6S twelve months ago:

I even get the reception we’re seeing. After years in the Google desert, we’re finally being thrown a cracker, and so we’re so hungry for it, we’re telling ourselves it tastes like a Ritz. Meanwhile, we’re taking Apple’s year-over-year crackers for granted, and looking at them like they’re just regular old saltines. The human brain is a real jerk that way. It only takes perspective when you force it to.

But that’s the job, and grading Pixel on a curve doesn’t help anybody, even and especially Google.

It’s a valid argument and one worth exploring in more detail on iMore.

Establishing The Pixel As A Player

Lurking in the discussions around the Pixel is the ambition of Google’s smartphone team. More than any other device, the Pixel screams ‘wannabe iPhone’ in both styling and marketing. Mark Gurman turns his attention to the story behind the Google Pixel in an extensive feature on Bloomberg that puts the long-term plan in focus:

Now that Google is designing phones itself, the company can at long last put together a product roadmap going out several years. For example, last month Burke was able to see a photo taken by a Google handset that won’t debut until next fall. That “would have never happened with Nexus,” he says. Going forward, more and more of the phones’ guts will be developed in-house. Burke says the company will eventually be able to ship its own custom “silicon,” a buzzword for customized processors that make devices work better.

Google Avoids Challenging Apple

One curious discussion around the Google Pixel is the price. Although the handset is pitched with cutting-edge software, hardware, and design, one of the biggest psychological comparisons is the price… which matches the equivalent iPhone 7 model. By not breaching the iPhone price point, Google has missed a trick  in the marketing of its new smartphone:

The Pixel’s starting price for the 32GB model is $649, rising to $849 for the 128GB Pixel XL. That sets an expectation in the mind of consumers. It gives them a benchmark to compare the various Pixel models to. And the comparison is perhaps the priciest mistake that Google has made with the Pixel.

The iPhone 7′s starting price for the 32GB model is $649, rising to $849 for the 128 GB iPhone 7 Plus.

Google is saying that it can’t do any better than Apple.

Pastor of Southbridge church says bathroom law threatens religious beliefs

SOUTHBRIDGE – The senior pastor of the House of Destiny Church on Mill Street, who is also chairman of the Town Council, found himself on the receiving end of suggestions he discriminates against transgender people last week.

The harsh criticism against the Rev. Esteban Carrasco Jr. surfaced soon after it became public Tuesday that the House of Destiny Church, which is also known as Iglesia Casa de Destino, was one of four Massachusetts churches to file a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that alleges the churches are forced to speak and act contrary to their Christian faith.

The Massachusetts Legislature passed a law last year requiring all public accommodations to implement policies that are properly inclusive of transgender individuals.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the churches by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization, said the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and Attorney General Maura Healey both interpret the commonwealth’s public accommodations laws, as amended by the Legislature in July, to force churches to open church changing rooms, shower facilities, restrooms and other intimate areas based on their perceived gender identity, and not their biological sex, in violation of the churches’ religious beliefs.

Because those laws also prohibit covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate or to incite others to do so, the commission and attorney general also intend to force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s views, the Alliance Defending Freedom said.

Speaking publicly for the first time about the matter in an interview with the Telegram & Gazette, Rev. Carrasco said:

“It’s all about the freedom to teach our beliefs and operate our houses of worship according to our faith, without being threatened by the government.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom complaint asserts that the Legislature and MCAD failed to provide an exemption for religious institutions, nor did MCAD attempt to define secular activities that it believed might subject a church to the law.

The MCAD stated it would review a charge involving religious institutions or religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

The Alliance Defending Freedom said a pastor, church leader or court “must guess” as to which of the church’s activities subject it to the law, which includes fines of $50,000 per violation, up to 365 days in jail, and lawyers’ fees.

Rev. Carrasco, who founded House of Destiny in April 2012 with his wife, said, “The AG and ‘unelected’ commission has come down with these interpretations, and these threatening messages, that we’re going to be charged with jail time, with fines, if we are not subject to what the government wants.”

Rev. Carrasco said the administrative team for the church of 100 to 120 members made the decision collectively to be included in the lawsuit.

Since its existence, the church has been involved in almost every community activity, Rev. Carrasco said. Next month it will again host a free Thanksgiving Day meal for residents, with delivery service, he said.

“We will continue to love our community,” he said. “This is not discrimination. This is not hate. We’re a diverse church. We have 17 nations represented and we have people from every walk of life.”

But “if you take this away, if religious liberty is taken away, all civil liberties are going to collapse,” he said. “Religious liberty is the cornerstone of the First Amendment.”

Asked if any of House of Destiny’s members were of the LGBT community, Rev. Carrasco said, “I don’t think that question is relevant to what we’re talking about. I think, really, what this talks about is religious liberty.”

And when asked if the church welcomes the LGBT community, the pastor raised his voice and said, “We welcome anybody and everybody. Our doors are open. We’re not a business, and I think people need to understand that. But we are a house of worship, and we are open for anybody and everybody to come in to learn about our faith and to worship with us. But if you’re coming through our doors, you need to respect our faith.”

To the backlash on social media suggesting he’s prejudiced, Rev. Carrasco said, “I’m sad. I’m disappointed. But I’m not here to entertain that because that’s not who I am. We love people. We welcome everybody.”

Lawyer Christiana Holcomb of the Alliance Defending Freedom, an alliance-building, nonprofit legal organization in Washington, D.C., “that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith,” joined the pastor on a conference call.

Ms. Holcomb said nationwide, only Iowa had taken similar action, but Massachusetts took it “one step further” by threatening pastors with jail time “simply for operating consistently with their faith.”

She said that the Massachusetts’ attorney general and MCAD’s actions were “almost unprecedented.”

Ms. Holcomb said the alliance’s lawsuit in Iowa was not much further ahead of its Massachusetts suit. The organization filed suit in Iowa in July. In August, the court held its first hearing on ADF’s motion seeking a preliminary injunction. A ruling is pending.

Ms. Holcomb suggested Iowa and Massachusetts laws could serve as a bellwether for the rest of the nation with respect to religious freedoms.

Southbridge School Committee member Amelia L. Peloquin was chief among Rev. Carrasco’s critics this week.

Ms. Peloquin, a former colleague of Rev. Carrasco on the council, said she was “completely disgusted” with the church for choosing to participate in the lawsuit. She said Rev. Carrasco should be ashamed of himself for his “active participation in LGBT discrimination.”

Ms. Peloquin, who is bisexual, said she’s upset because she spent years working to pass a transgender accommodations bill, which is the law at hand.

Ms. Peloquin said she wished Rev. Carrasco would take some time to educate himself on the issue and understand that “it’s just about basic human dignity” and not about compromising one’s religious beliefs. She said she respects that Rev. Carrasco is a social conservative, but would like for him to respect what’s become the law of the land.

Ms. Peloquin also noted that Rev. Carrasco recently voted against appointing Jacquelyn Ryan, a transgender woman, to the Southbridge Town Council Education and Human Services subcommittee, despite Ms. Ryan being the only applicant to the position. Ms. Peloquin suggested it offered further proof that Rev. Carrasco is regressive.

Rev. Carrasco said the issue and his vote against Ms. Ryan are “two different issues.”

Nurse receives Florence Nightingale Award for improving the health of LDS missionaries worldwide

For her work to improve the health of the Church’s missionaries worldwide, Deanne Francis has received the Florence Nightingale Award from Collegium Aesculapium, an association of LDS physicians and health professionals.

The presentation was made Sept. 29 at a dinner preceding the organization’s annual conference in Salt Lake City, where Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the featured speaker (see related article).

In making the presentation, Dr. Donald G. Doty, this year’s president, spoke of his past service as chairman of Missionary Department Health Services. He said that in 2006, he journeyed to the Pacific Islands, where it became clear to him that a full-time nurse was needed for each Church mission in every island nation of the world.

Upon his return, the department’s Nurse Committee was reorganized with Sister Francis, a practicing nurse, as chairwoman.

“She and her committee accepted the challenge of having a full-time missionary nurse for all of the island missions in the Church and took it a major step further, trying to find a local volunteer or service missionary nurse for every mission in the Church,” Brother Doty said.

“She served from 2006 to 2015, when she was released to care for her dear, ailing husband, Howard, who, incidentally, started missionary healthcare as the first doctor to work at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. So this is a wonderful couple that have given a lot of service to missionary health.”

Brother Doty said that when Sister Francis began her tenure in 2006, there were 25 full-time missionary nurses. That had increased to 125 by the time of his release from the Missionary Department in 2013.

Addressing the group, Sister Francis said there are now about 200 nurses in the missions of the world, a figure that fluctuates due to callings and releases.

“They keep saying we need a nurse in every mission, and I keep saying, ‘We keep increasing the number of missions; I’m never going to get there,’ ” Sister Francis quipped.

“But we have a lot of young nurses who serve right out of school,” she added. “Everyone was a little nervous about that, but we have one very young nurse who saved her mission president’s life.”

The mission president was being treated for pneumonia, and the nurse, upon entering the hospital, recognized that it was inadequate for his needs. She insisted that he be moved.

“She got him to a good hospital,” Sister Francis said. “The doctor that was there when they moved him in was a thoracic surgeon. She told him, ‘I don’t want you to do anything until you call Dr. Doty in Salt Lake.’ He said, ‘Would that be Don Doty?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘Oh, he’s the one who wrote the recommendation for my residency.’

“Do you think that was a coincidence? I don’t think so. I really don’t think so.”

Sister Francis said a young sister missionary was serving on a remote island in Samoa. She had been using a prosthetic leg since she was injured in an accident at age 4. She was doing fine on her mission until the leg fell apart.

Her family could not afford a $12,000 replacement for the prosthetic limb.

“So the mission president asked the members and the missionaries to fast and pray for this young sister missionary, which they did.”

The Sunday before she was to return home, a couple visiting Sabbath day services introduced themselves. He said he was a prosthetic engineer from St. George, Utah. They had come to Samoa to scuba dive and had decided on a whim to come visit the island.

The mission nurse stood up and exclaimed, “I know why you’re here!”

The couple ended up donating the $2,000 in materials for the repair of the prosthetic limb, and he helped put it together.

“These are the kinds of things that nurses are doing around the world,” Sister Francis said. “They never think they are going to do anything like that when they go. They never think they are going to hold the hand of a missionary who had a brain tumor and died. But that’s what one of our nurses did. She’s now on the Nurse Committee.”

The award was named for Florence Nightingale, who led a team of nurses that improved unsanitary conditions at the British base hospital in Constantinople during the Crimean War of the 1800s. She gained the nickname “the lady with the lamp” because she would hold a lamp while making her rounds at night to comfort wounded soldiers, Brother Doty explained.

Church Issues Statement on Impact of Hurricane Matthew

The church Encourages residents in affected areas to heed warnings and evacuations

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement Wednesday on the impact of Hurricane Matthew:

Hurricane Matthew, a potentially catastrophic storm, has affected many parts of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. Significant loss of life and severe damage to property has occurred, especially in Haiti. It is soon expected to impact the southeast United States over the next several days.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

We encourage residents in the affected area to listen to calls for appropriate evacuation, preparation and response, before, during and after the weather emergency.

Prior to the storm, the presidents of each mission in the path of the hurricane have taken appropriate steps to ensure the life and safety of missionaries. This has included moving to safer locations, gathering emergency supplies and reviewing mission emergency procedures. Mission presidents have responded as appropriate and where possible are keeping families informed by email and through social media with messages of reassurance that necessary precautions have been taken.

Local Church congregational leaders take similar steps to prepare those in their area. The Church continues to monitor the situation and is prepared to respond as needed.

Church defrocks priest accused of molestation at prep school

An Episcopal priest accused of molesting children at an elite boarding school and elsewhere has been removed from the priesthood.

The Rev. Howard White accepted the notice of his removal Monday but did not admit guilt, a Pennsylvania diocese said in a news release.

White, 75, is one of several former St. George’s School employees accused of sexual abuse and misconduct involving dozens of children between the 1970s and 2004. An independent investigation released last month found White abused children at the Middletown boarding school in the 1970s before being fired.

White has not been charged with any crime, but since the allegations at St. George’s emerged in December several other people have come forward to say he abused them. State police brought no charges after an investigation this year, citing the statute of limitations and other issues.

White didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

In New Hampshire, police launched an investigation after a former student at St. Paul’s School in Concord reported White abused him while a chaplain and teacher from 1967 to 1971. Police also launched an investigation in Waynesville, North Carolina, where White was rector at Grace Church in the Mountains for 22 years.

The Providence Journal has reported that White’s godson sued him and the Episcopal Church in West Virginia in 1996, alleging he abused him there in 1969. That lawsuit was dismissed because it was filed too late.

White also worked at Chatham Hall in Virginia and Asheville Country Day School, which later became Carolina Day School, in North Carolina. The rector at Chatham Hall said Tuesday the school has received no reports of abuse by White. Carolina Day’s head of school said this year it had not received any reports of abuse but did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

White retired in 2006 but had been working as a Sunday-only priest at St. James Episcopal Church in Bedford, Pennsylvania, before being placed on leave in January, the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania said. It said it has not received any allegations of abuse against him during his time there.

The Diocese of Southeast Florida also is investigating a retired priest and former headmaster at St. George’s, the Rev. George E. Andrews, who is accused of failing to report sexual abuse by a teacher to authorities when he led the school in the 1980s. His lawyer has said he relied on legal advice and did not know the scale of the abuse at the time.

Andrews’ son-in-law is the Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, and his daughter sits on the board of the $58,000-per-year school.

Other famous St. George’s alumni include poet Ogden Nash, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean and NBC personality Billy Bush, a former “Access Hollywood” host who appeared in a recently leaked video of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump talking crudely about groping women.

Haiti-Religion-Miami: “Arise and Shine 2016”, Une Conférence inoubliable

“Les 40 jours de jeûne et les 4 jours de conférence me manquent déjà”, a confié une internaute sur le page Facebook du Tabernacle de Gloire quelques jours après la conférence “Arise and Shine” qui s’était achevée dans la soirée du dimanche 31 juillet à Bank United Center. Rendez-vous est déjà pris pour l’été prochain pour 40 jours de louange, de prière, de prédication, de témoignages, de miracles, de gloire.

 

Des milliers de personnes s’étaient rendus à la Bank United Center (1245 Dauer Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146) lors de la clôture des quatre jours de la conférence “Arise and Shine” (Lève-toi et Brille) organisée par le Tabernacle de Gloire dirigé par le Pasteur Gregory Toussaint. Les 4 jours de conférence ont mis fin aux 40 jours de jeûne lancés le 19 juin dernier au North Miami Senior High Gymnasium. La gloire de Dieu s’était manifestée durant cet événement du début jusqu’à la fin.

« Marquez dans votre calendrier la période du 18 juin au 30 juillet, c’est la date retenue pour nos prochains 40 jours de jeûne l’année prochaine », a annoncé Pasteur Gregory Toussaint à la grande foule qui avait rempli la Bank United Center, un complexe sportif d’une capacité de 8000 personnes.

La soirée du dimanche avait été le pic des 4 jours de la conférence qui s’était tenue du 28 au 31 juillet à la Bank United Center, Coral Gables, Miami. Elle s’était terminée sur la louange passionnée et les témoignages de personnes que Dieu avait particulièrement touchées au cours des 40 jours de jeûne. Des témoignages de guérisons miraculeuses pour renforcer la foi de plus d’un et glorifier le nom du Seigneur Jésus-Christ. Ces témoignages étaient nombreux au cours des 40 jours de jeûne, ce qui prouve que Dieu y était bien présent pour manifester sa gloire.

“L’une des raisons pour lesquelles Dieu accomplit des miracles aujourd’hui est non seulement pour aider des gens en difficultés mais également pour prouver qu’il existe et qu’il n’est pas une idée ou une philosophie”, a expliqué le Pasteur Toussaint.

2300 nouvelles âmes

L’un des point marquants de l’événement “Arise and Shine” est le nombre de personnes ayant remis leur vie à Jésus-Christ. A la fin de l’activité, plus de 2300 personnes sont sorties des ténèbres pour entrer dans la merveilleuse lumière de l’Évangile. “Je veux voir l’enfer vide et le ciel rempli” a pour sa part déclaré le fameux évangéliste Reinhard Bonnke qui avait prêché dans la soirée du dimanche.

Adoration et louange  

Le dernier jour de la conférence était également marqué par l’adoration du psalmiste haïtien Delly Benson; celui-ci avait béni le peuple de Dieu par son talent et surtout par l’onction divine sur sa vie. Le public avait pu chanter avec lui des airs populaires comme “Anyo Bondye a” figurant sur son premier album “You are Lord”. Un grand moment d’adoration et de louange.

L’adoration et la louange étaient deux piliers des 40 jours de jeûne. Elles ont contribué à apporter la gloire de Dieu. Le service d’adoration a été notamment assuré par le Chœur d’Adoration (Worship Team) du Tabernacle de Gloire, le Pasteur Gregory Toussaint lui-même, mais aussi le Psalmiste Samuel Robuste qui a le don d’animer les foules et les conduire dans une autre dimension d’adoration.

Conférence Multiculturelle 

L’événement “Arise and Shine” était aussi multiculturel. La plupart des activités étaient en créole mais des traductions simultanées étaient disponibles sur les différents sites de l’événement (4 langues) et sur le site web du Tabernacle de Gloire (77 langues). Notons le passage remarqué d’Ingrid Rosario le samedi 30 juillet. L’artiste évangélique hispano-américaine a présentée une excellente performance qui a ébloui plus d’un. On a pu glorifier Dieu avec Ingrid sur des airs populaires comme “Que se llene tu casa”, “Te Bendeciré” (I will bless you Lord) etc.

“Louwe, louwe”

Le Pasteur et chanteur Donnie Mcclurkin avait brièvement entonné quelques airs de son répertoire lors de son passage le premier jour de la conférence, le jeudi 28 juillet. Le fameux chanteur avait notamment chanté en créole (“Louwe, louwe, gloire à Jésus”), ce qui avait grandement réjoui le cœur du public haïtien présent. “Mais c’est tout ce que je sais”, avait avoué le chanteur afro-américain qui était surtout à la Bank United Center pour prêcher la Parole de Dieu, et il l’avait fait brillamment. Le pasteur Mcclurkin a prêché avec ferveur sur la passion du Christ. “Jésus ne pouvait pas mourir jusqu’à ce qu’il ait volontairement donné sa vie. Jésus est la vie. On ne peut pas enlever la vie à la vie. Jésus a accepté de donner sa vie pour sauver vous et moi “, a prêché le pasteur-chanteur.

Les autels maléfiques et Jézabel 

La guerre spirituelle était au cœur des 40 jours de jeûne. Des prières de guerre spirituelle étaient récitées tous les soirs après ou avant les prédications. Le Pasteur Yvan Castanou venu de France (Impact Centre Chrétien) a traité le thème des autels sataniques et comment ceux-ci peuvent parler contre notre destinée. Il a enseigné comment contrecarrer l’action ces autels maléfiques par la Parole de Dieu.

Le Pasteur Gregory Toussaint avait lui aussi enseigné sur la guerre spirituelle en reprenant le thème « Jézabel » qu’il avait prêché il y a plusieurs années. Le samedi 30 juillet, il avait notamment montré comment cet esprit maintient Haïti sous son emprise et empêché ce pays de progresser. Il a aussi annoncé la réédition du livre-choc “Jézabel mis à nue” paru pour la première fois en 2008. Durant la conférence, le Pasteur Toussaint a procédé la vente-signature de plusieurs de ses nouveaux livres dont « Je Sais Qui Je Suis », Détrôner le Roi des Terreurs », « La Foi inébranlable » etc.

Les 40 jours de jeûne étaient notamment diffusés en dirent sur Island TV, Shekinah Tel, Facebook Live, Radio Shekinah, le réseau Shekinah en Haïti, Radio Télé Lumière etc. ce qui a permis à des millions de personnes de suivre l’événement en direct.

CHRISTIANS WHO REJECT REFUGEES ARE ‘HYPOCRITES,’ POPE SAYS

The Pope’s statement on hypocrisy came while he was answering questions from young Catholics and Lutherans

Meeting a pilgrimage of Catholics and Lutherans from Germany, Pope Francis said he does not like “the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions”.

“This is not something I’ve read in books, but I see in the newspapers and on television every day,” Pope Francis said.

Answering questions from young people in the group today (13 October), the Pope said, “the sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy,” which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ.

“You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,” he said. “You cannot be a Christian without practising the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25,” which is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and welcome the stranger.

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” he said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”

Asked what he thought of the Reformation, Pope Francis said the Christian community is called to continual growth and maturity, and its entire history has been marked by reform movements “small and not so small,” some of which were healthy and holy, others which went awry because of human sin.

“The greatest reformers of the church are the saints, those men and women who follow the word of God and practise it,” he told the pilgrims, most of whom came from Martin Luther’s home region of Saxony-Anhalt.

In his formal talk to the group, Pope Francis said Christians must praise God that, in the past 50 years, Catholics and Lutherans have moved “from conflict to communion. We already have travelled an important part of the road together.”

Noting that he would go to Lund, Sweden, at the end of the month to participate with Lutheran leaders in opening commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Pope Francis said an important part of the commemoration would be a joint commitment to working together in a world “thirsting for God and his mercy.”

The world needs Christians to witness God’s mercy “through service to the poorest, the sick (and) those who have abandoned their homelands in search of a better future for themselves and their families,” he said.

“In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest,” Pope Francis said, “we will experience that we already are united; it is God’s mercy that unites us.”