Will the bear and dragon soon dominate the region?
In recent years, China and Russia have been dancing with increasing vigor to the rhythms of Latin American trade and diplomacy. The two eastern giants want business allies, resources and friends who share their desire to close the curtain on the era of United States dominance. As they foxtrot across Latin America, they are finding all three in abundance.
The U.S., apparently indifferent to the Chinese and Russian advance into its backyard, is sitting out more and more Latin American dances. But there is another global power whose salsa shoes won’t be coming off any time soon; this rising power bloc will check the advance of Beijing and Moscow into Latin America. Continue reading
The surprise restoration of relations between the United States and Cuba represents a major victory for the pope. Is it cause for celebration?
“How many divisions does the pope of Rome have?” That was Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s reply after British Prime Minister Winston Churchill advised him, in the aftermath of World War ii, to consider the Vatican’s perspective while laying out a plan for the future of Eastern Europe.
Stalin respected only brute force. The Vatican had none, so he dismissed it as irrelevant.
But today Stalin and the Soviet behemoth he led are long gone, while the papal system remains. And it was actually a pope—blending politics with religion—who sparked the revolution that eventually toppled the Berlin Wall, and brought down that Soviet system.
This was meant to be more divisive rather than pointing towards a difference between the two. It’s also has an eerie historical ring to it where the Catholic church persecuted Christians for their beliefs not in sync with church doctrine and instead chose to follow God. They were labeled as heretics, handed over to secular governments and persecuted. The handing over and execution by the state allowed them to claim they technically had no blood on their hands.
Not all those who claim to be Christians really are, said Pope Francis Friday morning. Some are Christians “in name only,” he said. “They bear the name of Christians but live a life of pagans.”
In his homily at Mass, the Pope that there have always been two types of Christian, those who truly followed Christ and those who only pretended to. At the time of Saint Paul, there were “worldly Christians, Christians in name only, with two or three Christian features, but nothing more.” The Pope called this sort of people “Pagan Christians,” whom St. Paul called “enemies of the cross of Christ.”
In Paul’s time, the Pope said, the two groups of Christians “were in church together, went to Mass on Sunday, praised the Lord, and were called Christians.” So what was the difference? He asked. The second were “enemies of the cross of Christ.”
Conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage is quoted by Newsmax (May 12) as calling on Pope Francis to begin the “legitimate” redistribution of wealth by monetizing the wealth of the Vatican and distributing the proceeds to the poor.
This rant was in response to the pope’s recent speech to the U.N. secretary-general and officials urging them to promote a “worldwide ethical mobilization” of solidarity with the world’s poor. The pope said that the U.N. should seek the “legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society” in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of wealth.
Savage then went on to describe U.S. taxation in relation to the poor as more than adequate, and called the pope “Karl Marx in a papal outfit.” Continue reading
Israel’s envoy to the Vatican denied Wednesday that there is a deal in the works to transfer the ownership of King David’s Tomb to the Church.
But Rabbi Yaakov Sevilla, an activist for King David’s Tomb who has told Quartz Sheva previously that there is such a deal at play, insisted once against Wednesday that a deal is in the works – one which gives the Church more control over the site. Continue reading