Fr Stephen Smuts

Archive for July 21st, 2011

Archaeologists Discover High Priest’s Bell?

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Archaeologists have discovered a rare gold bell during an excavation in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.

Arutz Sheva, Israel National News, has the report:

Archaeologists have discovered a rare gold bell with a small loop at its end. The finding was made during an archaeological excavation in the City of David National Park (near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem) by the Israel Antiquities Authority in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Ir David Foundation.

The directors of the excavation on behalf of the Antiquities Authority, archaeologists Eli Shukron and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, said after the finding, “The bell looked as if it was sewn on the garment worn by a man of high authority in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period.

“The bell was exposed in the city’s main drainage channel of that period, between the layers of dirt that had been piled on the floor of the channel,” they continued. “This drainage channel was built and hewn west to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and drained the rainfall in the different parts of the city, through the City of David and the Shiloah Pool to the Kidron valley.”

The excavation area, above the drain, is located in the main street of Jerusalem which rose from the Shiloah Pool in the City of David. In this street an interchange was built through which people entered the Temple Mount. The remains of this interchange are what is known today as Robinson’s Arch. Archaeologists believe that the eminent man walked the streets of Jerusalem in the area of Robinson’s Arch and lost the golden bell which fell off his outfit into the drain beneath the street.

Jewish sources say that the high priests who served in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem used to hang golden bells on the edges of their coats. The book of Exodus (Shemot), for example, contains a description of the coat of Aaron the high priest in which it is said that coat contains, “bells of gold.”

While it is unknown if the bell belonged to one of the high priests, archaeologists have not ruled out the possibility.


And now you can listen to the sound of the bell:

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 21, 2011 at 22:39

Emotional Archbishop Speaks of ‘shame’ of Irish Child Abuse Cover-ups

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The Archbishop of Dublin has launched an emotional attack on church leaders in Ireland over the cover-up of child abuse.

The Telegraph reports:

A visibly upset Dr Diarmuid Martin said he was “angry, ashamed and appalled” at the behaviour of his fellow churchmen following a damning report into abuse in the diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork.

His comments follow an unprecedented attack on the Vatican by the Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, accusing the Roman Catholic hierarchy of violating the country’s sovereignty by attempting to frustrate the inquiry.

The Taoiseach told the Irish parliament that the Cloyne report exposed the Vatican itself as being dominated by a culture of “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism.”

“The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’,” he said.

His remarks at a special debate in the Dail followed the publication last week of the fourth major report in six years cover-ups of clerical abuse.

The former Bishop of Cloyne John Magee – a Vatican aide to three Popes – was singled out for misleading investigators and “dangerous” failures on child protection.

On one occasion he was found to have written two different reports on an abuse allegation – one for Rome and one for diocesan records.

His resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict last year.

But Mr Kenny accused the Holy See of having a “calculated withering position” on clerical abuse.

“For the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago,” he said.

Close to tears, Archbishop Martin, later said told RTE he hoped the Taoiseach’s stinging criticism would teach his fellow churchmen a “lesson”.

“I find myself asking today, can I be proud of the Church that I’m a leader of?” he said.

“What I’m seeing – I have to be ashamed of this, and I have to be ashamed because of what was done to the victims and what was done to other people.”

Rest here.

Unpleasant and distressing this is… And we are beginning to see the full extent of the evil that was going on in Ireland.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 21, 2011 at 20:45

On the Front Page of the Newspaper

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Today was this photo:

The leopard attacks a forest guard at Prakash Nagar village near Salugara, on the outskirts of Siliguri, India, after it had strayed into a village and attacked several villagers.

I found more photos (10) online are here.

Crazy stuff!


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 21, 2011 at 18:54

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Middle Eastern geodatabase for heritage:

(CNN) – Known to many as the “cradle of civilization,” Iraq is a treasure trove of important archaeological sites including Babylon, Ur and Nimrud.

Yet hostile circumstances on the ground have left the country’s antique heritage vulnerable to looting and damage.

International calls for the safeguarding of Iraq’s ancient sites have resulted in the development of a sophisticated geodatabase record of ancient sites and monuments, which it is hoped will allow them to be better monitored and protected.

MEGA-Iraq (Middle Eastern geodatabase for heritage) is being developed by the Getty Conservation Institute and the World Monuments Fund alongside Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage.

Susan Macdonald is Head of Field Projects at the Getty Conservation Institute.

She said: “While many in the international archaeological community focused on the looting of museums, no-one was really paying much attention to this issue of archaeological sites, and that really there was no good inventory or database of records of these.”

To find out how it works, and more, click here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 21, 2011 at 18:32

Stop the Disneyfication of the Holy Land

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It’s the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster:

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 21, 2011 at 17:16


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