Church

Church Cross Saves Woman And Grandson Caught In Flood

“I said, ‘dear Lord are you taking me home right now?’ “

The Huff Po has this story:

You don’t need to have religious faith to appreciate what a church cross did for Clara Gantt and her grandson on Sunday, October 4, in the South Carolina floods — according to them,  it was a life-saver.

Gantt and Travis Catchings clung to that cross for hours in raging waters before rescuers could do their job, WISTV reported…

There is more with a video here.

Religion

Mecca Stampede: Hundreds Killed

Huff Po:

Saudi Arabia, Sept 24 (Reuters) – At least 717 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, the Saudi authorities said, the worst disaster to strike the annual haj pilgrimage in 25 years.

At least 863 others were injured at Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, when two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads on their way to performing the “stoning of the devil” ritual at Jamarat, Saudi civil defense said.

Thursday’s disaster was the worst to occur at the pilgrimage since July 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims were crushed to death in a tunnel near Mecca. Both stampedes occurred on Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Islam’s most important feast and the day of the stoning ritual…

More on the Hajj stampede here.

Culture

UN: Downing of MH17 Jet in Ukraine ‘May Be War Crime’

You don’t think?!! The BBC:

Wreckage of MH17, 26 Jul 14

The downing of Malaysia Airlines jet MH17 in eastern Ukraine may constitute a “war crime”, the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says.

Ukraine and Western governments believe pro-Russian rebels shot down MH17, using a missile system supplied by Russia. All 298 people on board – most of them Dutch – died on 17 July.

Moscow and the rebels have blamed Ukrainian forces for the plane crash…

Rest here.

Church

Where Is The Humanity at the MH17 Crash Site?

Why were no representatives of the Church in the field praying for the dead?

In the Catholic Herald.

A piece of the plane with the sign "Malaysian airlines" lies in the grass as a group of Ukrainian coal miners search the site of a passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine (PA)

The television coverage from Ukraine, from the crash site of the unfortunate Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, is almost too painful to watch.

It is painful to watch because it reminds us of nearly 300 innocent people who have lost their lives, and who have met painful, frightening deaths when they least expected it.

It is painful to watch, because it is the scene of a tragedy. This should not have happened. This could have been avoided. There was absolutely nothing necessary or inevitable about these deaths.

But it goes further than this. The pain caused by witnessing the crash scene on our screens is made worse by what is going on there. The ‘emergency workers’, who are trampling over the scene, do not seem to be exercising the necessary care and respect which is necessary in the presence of tragedy. The site has not been effectively cordoned off – a necessity given the danger of preserving a crime scene from contamination, but also a necessary step in ensuring respect for the dead who lie there.

The dead have been left to lie there for two days in hot whether. Why? Is this the right way to treat the dead? This lack of care can only make the grief of their relatives worse. Now we are told the bodies are on a refrigerated train, but where is it going, and who is in charge of it? Why are no civil authorities making their presence felt? This must have something to do with the fact that the Donbass region is a war zone. But what about the clergy? Where are they? Why were no representatives of the Church in the field praying for the dead? Why were the clergy not at the side of the refrigerated train? Is there no one at all who can sanctify the place with a prayer?

As for the stories of the way the site has been looted, let us hope that these are just stories. In days of yore, it was common, after battles, for local people to come out of hiding and pick over the dead for what they could take, but it was also common for members of pious societies to gather up bodies, and give them decent and Christian burial; thus it was hoped that a mother of a soldier fallen in a foreign field would at least have that consolation, that some kind person had provided her fallen son with the last offices.

The world is looking at the separatists in eastern Ukraine, and what we see is not reassuring. The camera does not lie.

Back in 1988, one of the most brutal killings took place in Belfast, that of corporals Derek Wood and David Howes, who were stripped naked and beaten to death. Nevertheless, a priest, Fr Alec Reid, was present, and did what he could to help the murdered men, and an unknown woman covered up one of the two men, saying (if memory serves) that the fallen man was some mother’s son. The horror of that scene had a few redeeming shards of humanity in it. But in eastern rebel-held Ukraine, now, what humanity have we seen?

 

Culture

EIGHTY Children Die on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

What kind of barbarians shoot down a civilian airline?! Surely this is an act of war.

Child victims: Three grandchildren, Mo Maslin, 12, (left), his brother Otis, eight, (centre) and sister Evie Maslin, 10, (right) were killed on the flight along with their grandfather Nick Morris.

The world is a sick and fallen place. The Daily Mail:

  • Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down over territory held by Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

  • Body parts and wreckage spread over nine-mile area, suggesting plane broke up mid-air.

  • Airlines had been advised to cease flights over the region which is ‘effectively a war-zone’.

  • The service was headed from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

  • Nine Britons and 154 Dutch have been confirmed dead, along with 28 Australians, 43 Malaysians and 12 Indonesians.

  • Prime Minister Tony Abbott extended his most profound condolences to the families of Australian victims.

  • Ukrainian interior ministry says plane was shot down by a BUK surface-to-air missile President Petro Poroshenko issued robust denial that his forces were involved, and calls crash an ‘act of terrorism’.

  • Ukraine’s state security chief accuses Russian military intelligence officers of involvement in crash.

  • US senator John McCain vows there will be ‘hell to pay’ if missile was fired by rebels or Russian backers.

More on of the victims here.

Mourners have laid flowers at the doorstep of the embassy to pay respect to victims

Here’s a summary of the horrific events:

flight mh17 graphic

Innocent people and children… Just imagine some one near and dear to you, one you truly love, being on that plane… It cause a feeling of total numbness.

Let us mourn with and pray for those who have lost loved ones in this despicable act… And may God Almighty avenge innocent blood lost!

 

Culture

Malaysian Passenger Plane Shot Down Over Ukraine

Ukraine air crash

With 295 souls on board. Sky News:

A passenger plane which crashed as it flew over eastern Ukraine with 295 people on board was reportedly shot down.

The Malaysia Airlines plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling at an altitude of 33,000 feet (10,000 metres) when it was shot down, Russia’s Interfax reported.

An adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry told the news agency the Boeing 777 was brought down by a Buk ground-to-air missile.

All 280 passengers and 15 crew members who were on the plane are believed to have died, he added.

A spokesman for Malaysian Airlines, still reeling from the loss of flight MH370 in March, confirmed it had lost contact with flight MH17, which took off from Amsterdam at 12.15pm local time.

Just like that. Lord, have mercy.



The Daily Mail has more here.

 

Culture

15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm

And residents are urged to remain indoors, here in South Africa:

A crocodile farm in South Africa has reported that around 15,000 crocodiles escaped after heavy rains forced the farm to open its flood  gates.

Local reports indicate that heavier than normal rains forced the owners of  the Rakwena Crocodile Farm to open the permeable crocodile gates so as to  prevent the pens from being damaged in the rising flood waters. When the gates  were opened it allowed the farm’s 15,000 crocodiles to leave their pens and  enter the Limpopo River.

Workers at the farm have since been scrambling to recover the reptiles, and  have been able to recover about half the animals,  but still have several thousand more loose with no idea about how long it will  be before they can recover them all or if at all.

“There used to be only a few crocodiles in the Limpopo River. Now there are a  lot. We’ve been recapturing them as and when the local farmers phone us to tell  us that there are crocodiles on their property,” Zane Langman, son-in-law of the  farm’s owner Johan Boshoff, told South Africa’s Beeld newspaper.

“We’ve been recapturing them as, and when, the local farmers phone us to tell  us that there are crocodiles on their property,” Langman added.

The Limpopo Province is experiencing heavier than normal rainfall that has  produced several floods in the region resulting in at least 10 deaths. In  neighboring Mozambique flood waters have displaced tens of thousands of people.

The reptiles that escaped were Nile Crocodiles which can reach lengths of up  to 15 feet. They are also able to reach speeds of 22 mph in the water and up to  10 mph while on land. Residents have been cautioned to remain inside and call  professional reptile handlers if one is spotted on their property.

There has been an increase in commercial crocodile farms which breed the  reptiles for their skin and in some cases their meat. Crocodile skins are sold  to manufacturers that produce belts, shoes, handbags and coats, among other  accessories.