Fr Stephen Smuts

Archive for March 3rd, 2011

Food Prices Hit Record High in February

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That’s according to the UN:

Global food prices have reached their highest point in 20 years and could increase further because of rising oil prices stemming from the unrest in Libya and the Mideast, a U.N. agency warned Thursday.Skyrocketing food prices have been among the triggers for protests in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere and raised fears of a repeat of the food price crises in 2007 and 2008.

Some experts point to key differences compared to those years: for one, the price of rice, an important food security commodity, is much lower today. Still, Oxfam called the hike “deeply worrying.”

The Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement that its food price index was up 2.2 percent last month, the highest record in both real, inflation-corrected terms and nominal terms since the agency started monitoring prices two decades ago.

It also was the eighth consecutive month that food prices had risen, the Rome-based agency said. In January, the index had already registered a record peak

Global oil prices, which increased on concerns about the potential impact of supply disruptions following unrest in Libya, are a crucial variable.

“Unexpected oil price spikes could further exacerbate an already precarious situation in food markets,” said David Hallam, director of FAO’s trade and market division. “This adds even more uncertainty concerning the price outlook just as plantings for crops in some of the major growing regions are about to start.”

Oil prices affect food markets in many ways, from production to transport costs…

More here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

March 3, 2011 at 21:03

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WordPress: Making Me Mad

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Just as I was settling down to (try) and blog, I kept getting this silly message:

Writes to the service have been disabled, we will be bringing everything back online ASAP

Maybe it was down time? (At a bad time.) Fine, but the ASAP was certainly anything but ASAP. Frustrating.

Perhaps it’s time to think about heading back to faithful old Blogspot…

UPDATE:   Dr Jim West has news as to the reason for the above.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

March 3, 2011 at 20:01

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Repent One Day Before Your Death

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But nobody knows when they will die! Exactly…

Rabbi Elizer said, “Repent one day before your death.”

His disciples asked him, “But does a person know on what day he is going to die?”

“All the more reason, therefore, to repent today, lest one die tomorrow. In this manner, one’s whole life will be spent in repentance.”

– Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 153a

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

March 3, 2011 at 19:08

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The Most Typical Person In The World

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

March 3, 2011 at 18:46

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Vatican Aide: Ordinariate Very Important to Pope

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Zenit reports:

A priest at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is affirming that the newly established Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is “very important” to Benedict XVI.

Members of the ordinariate, established for former Anglicans wishing to enter full communion with the Catholic Church, recently visited Rome and met with staff at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including the prefect, Cardinal William Levada.

Father Hermann Geissler, head of the dicastery’s doctrinal office, gave an interview to The Portal, an independent review of the ordinariate.

He affirmed that “the ordinariate is very important to the Holy Father.”

“In the area of ecumenism it strengthens the Catholic Church’s approach in two ways,” the priest noted. “It promotes sincere dialogue with a Christian defense of life and the promotion of peace.”

He stated: “The goal of the ecumenical movement is complete visible union with one Christ and with Peter in one Church. We must cooperate and grow together.”

Father Geissler affirmed that the Pope is called to promote unity in the Church and world. “He is the chief shepherd, he cannot do otherwise.”

“Unity is built on two pillars, love and truth,” the priest added.

Precious souls

He reported that 50-60 clergy and some 1,000 laity are already planning to join the ordinariate, and “every soul is precious.”

The priest added that there are also groups interested in following a similar model in the United States, Canada and Australia. He noted his dicastery is “watching events carefully” in Africa as well.

We are not to give in to difficulties,” Father Geissler said. “We are to be generous and welcoming.”

He continued: “The issue is the whole question of unity and of mission. When God plants a beautiful tree, he cares for it.”

The priest concluded: “We pray for you that the ordinariate goes well. Priests are already ordained.

“We must be faithful to unity.

“We will do all we can to help you together with the bishops of England and Wales. Be encouraged by the words of Jesus Christ, ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and everything else will be given you.’ There will be suffering, but God will guide us.”

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

March 3, 2011 at 15:15


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