Culture

Soldier Beheaded in Islamist Terror Attack in London

UPDATEWoolwich terror attack soldier named: Lee Rigby, 25, a father of a 2-year-old boy.

Two suspected terrorists were shot by armed police after attacking a pedestrian, believed to be a soldier, with a machete-style knife close to military barracks in an ‘Islamist attack’.

The Telegraph:

Local MP Nick Raynsford said he had been told the man attacked in the street was a soldier serving at the Royal Artillery Barracks near the attack.

Mr Raynsford said the soldier had been returning to the barracks after a day out when he was attacked.

London Ambulance Service said one man, believed to be the victim of the machete attack, had died in the incident and two others were injured, one seriously.

Several witnesses described seeing a “beheading” while another described seeing a man wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt being attacked with a machete-style knife and dumped.

The Telegraph is doing live updates as this horrific story unfold here.

And via the Guardian:

Brandishing a cleaver and a knife, and with the body of the victim lying yards away, the man said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Barbarism!

And just a few days ago we posted God Save the Queen.

Britain will be a Muslim country within the next 50 years or so…

 

Church

Pope Francis: The Lord Has Redeemed All of Us…Even Atheists!

The Lord has redeemed everyone with the Blood of Christ, including atheists. So says, Pope Francis:

As he celebrated Mass this morning, Francis said that the possibility of doing good is part of creation, and that Christ redeemed all of us, not only Catholics. Doing good “is a beautiful path towards peace” whilst “killing in the name of God is blasphemy.”

Asia News continues:

Pope Francis spoke about doing good as a principle that unites all humanity.

The pontiff began his reflection with today’s Gospel about the disciples who wanted to prevent a person from outside their group from doing good.

“They complain” because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” But Jesus corrected them. ‘Do not stop him,’ he said. ‘Let him do good’.”

“The disciples,” the Pope said, “were a little ‘intolerant’, set on the idea that they owned the truth, believing that ‘all those who do not have the truth cannot do good.’ And ‘this was wrong’.” In fact, “Jesus ‘broadens the horizon.”

“The root of this possibility of doing good,” which we all have, “lies in creation. The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: Do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, he is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. ‘He cannot.’ He must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, such ‘closing off’ [of the mind], which makes us think that all those outside [of our group] cannot do good, is a barrier that leads to war as well as to what some throughout history have thought [possible], namely killing in the name of God, [the idea] that we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply put, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

“On the contrary, the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in our heart: Do good and do not do evil. The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, what about the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us first class children of God! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all!

Rest here.

 

Church

Man Commits Suicide Inside Notre Dame

Some 1,500 visitors were cleared out of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a man put a letter on the altar of the 850-year-old monument Tuesday, pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.

It’s the first suicide in decades at the landmark site, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, the cathedral’s rector, told The Associated Press.

“It’s unfortunate, it’s dramatic, it’s shocking,” Jacquin said.  The motives for the suicide, and the contents of the man’s letter, were unclear.

The Paris prosecutor’s office identified the man as 78-year-old Dominique Venner.

Venner’s blog describes him as a historian and essayist, and includes description of his involvement in the campaign against France’s new law authorizing gay marriage. In some posts he criticizes “massive immigration” and what he describes as encroaching Islam; others include historical analysis of revolution or American-European relations.

It says he fought with French forces against Algerian independence fighters a half-century ago in a war that ended with France losing its most prized colony.

Police ushered people out of the cathedral after the shooting, Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters from the grand stone plaza in front of Notre Dame. “We call for compassion,” he said.

“Notre Dame is the cathedral of Paris, one of the capital’s – and the country’s – most beautiful monuments, so we realize how symbolic this event truly is.”

It’s highly unusual for the cathedral, visited by some 13 million people from around the world every year, to be evacuated.

Police, the Paris prosecutor and church employees gathered inside the cathedral, while puzzled tourists crowded outside on the island in the Seine River that has been home to the cathedral since the 12th century.

The cathedral reopened for an evening service that church officials said would include a prayer for the man who committed suicide and other struggling souls.

Tuesday’s death comes less than a week after another unusual suicide in central Paris, when a man shot himself in front of a dozen schoolchildren at a private Catholic school in the French capital.

Jacquin said a few people had committed suicide by jumping from Notre Dame’s two towers, but he had no knowledge of anyone ever committing suicide on the altar. The Eiffel Tower occasionally shuts down because of suicides or attempts to jump off its ledges.

Source

UPDATE:  Topless Woman Arrested At Notre Dame Cathedral

A topless activist of the FEMEN movement was arrested inside Notre Dame Cathedral Wednesday, one day after far-right essayist and historian Dominique Vesser committed suicide in the Paris landmark.

The bare-chested woman was photographed in front of the altar, pointing a fake gun at her mouth. The slogan “May Fascists Rest In Hell” was written across her torso.

FEMEN leader Inna Schevchenko commented to Le HuffPost that the protest was a message to “anyone who supports fascism and who honored the memory of the extreme-right militant who committed suicide at Notre Dame.”

On Tuesday, 78-year-old far-right activist Dominique Venner took his own life in front of the altar inside the Cathedral. According to the Associated Press, Venner ran a blog that included pieces criticizing immigration and gay marriage.

On its Facebook page, FEMEN France called the topless activist “FEMEN’s angel of Death”…

The Cathedral is desecrated.

 

Church

What the Anglo-Catholics Have to Offer to Anglicanism

Those who have read the recent post on Fr. Philip’s North lead story in the May 2013 issue of New Directions may well have wondered what the specific gifts are which in Philip North’s view the Anglo-Catholics have to offer to the Church of England.

Cleverly Fr. North had already given the answer to this question in the previous month’s lead story. Here is a summary of the article and some quotations:

“What is the point in having us now? What does our tradition have to offer the wider Church?”

1. “We witness to (the) true identity (of the Church of England) as part of the Universal Catholic Church.” Fr. North wonders whether this argument has perhaps already been lost, saying that many view the C of E as “free, independent, Protestant”. Should this be the case, he believes that “then we have no excuse for staying in the Church of England”.

Linked with this guardianship of the true ecclesial identity of Anglicanism is “a passion for the unity of Christ’s Church“. Again the signs are not good. Relations with the Roman Catholic Church are at a low, suspicion of Rome is rife. And ecumenism with the other Protestant denominations is in the doldrums. Indeed “the whole movement towards Christian unity is in crisis” and Fr. North considers this a scandal. Anglo-Catholics have the vocation to “keep alive relationships with the Roman Catholic Church” and – in constant conversation with their own Church of England – to try to “create the conditions required for ecumenical discussion”. Again he says: “If we think the argument is lost once and for all, our self-justification is lost.”

2.  The second gift is to offer the wider Church a “sacramental world view“. The Mass is not one worship option among many but “the primary way in which God invites us to worship him“. It is the duty of Anglo-Catholics “to remind people of the primacy of the sacramental life” and of the role of the Mass to make effective the saving work of Christ in the present, to proclaim the Kingdom, to feed and commission God’s people and to sanctify all creation.

And without the priest there is no sacrament, so Anglo-Catholics offer “a proper view of Christian priesthood”. In the C of E priesthood is often viewed as a waste of young people’s lives, a squandering of their educational opportunities, even “synonymous with child abuse”. Priests are seen by many as an expensive luxury and as “part of a hierarchical cabal holding back the gifts and talents of the laity”. Priests are “a problem that needs solving”.

Philip North believes that people are, however, willing to listen when told about the “correct context” of priesthood in a sacramental view of the world, and he tells a story of a talk he gave at Holy Trinity, Brompton, by which the listeners were “fascinated and moved”.  Fr. North concludes that Anglo-Catholics “are the ones who can lead (the) debate” about “a proper and balanced vision of priesthood“.

3. The third gift concerns “the proper ordering of public worship“. Fr. North finds much public worship is ”inept, unimaginative, banal and pointless”. Few, he believes, “understand the books”. Anglo-Catholics., on the other hand, “know how to offer worship which is both dignified and numinous and yet human enough to meet needs and engage people”, “to show confidence in the Mass”, “to order spaces and beautiful buildings and plan dignified ceremonial”. He also underlines the “enormously imaginative and broad” use of music and the “first-rate preachers who can put across sharp, challenging and relevant messages without banging on all day”.

4. The fourth gift is the “long tradition … of ministering in areas of poverty and social deprivation“. “We don’t bus in the middle classes” Fr. North writes, “but rather we serve local people”, including vulnerable adults, ethnic minority groups, those with mental health problems, the neglected and sidelined and the broken. ”Our movement has a long and proud history of locating itself where human need is greatest”.

He is of the opinion that the wider Church “is forgetting how to pay anything more than lip-service to the bias to the poor”, and that Anglo-Catholics “have a great deal to offer the evangelical world in this respect”. Many evangelical churches are accused of being “a white, professional, middle-class, graduate movement” and are “desperately longing for ways to offer service to poorer communities and for a theological underpinning to such work”.

He sees examples of “the middle classes seeking to improve the lives of the poor by imposing upon them their own lifestyles and values” and believes that this would be “unthinkable” within the Catholic movement, because Anglo-Catholics “instinctively see things from the point of view of local people”, “the incarnational approach to community development is in our bloodstream”.

5. And the fifth gift he identifies is a “disciplined, devotional life”, and he specifically names two aspects of the (Anglo-)Catholic spiritual life: the Sacrament of Confession and the “proper place of Mary within the Christian life“.

(to be completed)

David Murphy

Culture

SA Police Service Website Hacked

With some disastrous consequences:

Nearly 16 000 whistle-blowers have had their personal details published online after a cyberattack on the SAPS website.

Hundreds of police officers’ names, ranks and contact details were also uploaded by the hacker, who said the attack was in retaliation for the Marikana shootings.

The hacker appeared to have performed a data dump last Friday when complainants’ details were downloaded from the SAPS website’s e-mail server and uploaded on to another site.

Many of the 15 767 e-mails were detailed with incidents of crimes such as rape, murder and robbery, as well as the names and contact details of the whistle-blowers.

The hacker took to social media to claim the online attack.

“South African Police saps.gov.za e-mails Leaked… #OpMarikanaMiners We Did Not Forget #Anonymous,” tweeted @DomainerAnon.

His profile picture is a man wearing a mask, similar to that used by the anarchist character “V” in the film V for Vendetta. He says he is from “OZ (Australia) but currently on walkabouts”.

The mask is based on the face of Guy Fawkes, the best-known member of the gang of men who tried to blow up the House of Lords in London in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

Above the list of the officers’ details, a message reads: “The reason for this action is to serve as a reminder to the government regarding the murders of 34 protesting miners outside the Marikana platinum mine by police. To date no officers have been brought to justice… This situation will NOT be tolerated.”

By 8am on Wednesday, the data had been downloaded 330 times.

“I’m very worried about this,” one of the whistle-blowers told The Star, on condition of anonymity.

He had sent an e-mail to the police saying that the police were not properly investigating the rape of a 14-year-old girl in KZN.

He said he was still in the dark about the investigation.

National police spokesman Brigadier Phuti Setati said this morning that there would be a media briefing at 1pm today.

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” said Dr Johan Burger, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies.

He said it was a “huge breach of police security systems” and could have serious ramifications for whistle-blowers if the information fell into the hands of criminals…