From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved

    This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/2014-2017.htm from “Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.

SCARLET WOMAN 2021 OCTOBER-DECEMBER
Or return to Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.
    This link will return you to Scarlet Woman 2021 July-September
.

10/2/2021 Your Turn Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz Guest columnist by Archbishop Kurtz: Say YES to the pro-life amendment
    Kentuckians will soon have a unique opportunity to protect the sanctity of human life.
    On Nov. 8, 2022, Kentucky voters will be asked to approve an amendment to our state constitution making it clear that there is no right to abortion or to abortion funding in our constitution.    I ask all Kentuckians to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider joining me in voting YES on this important measure.
    Over the past several years, Kentucky’s legislature has passed a number of new laws to protect the unborn.    We now have strong laws protecting unborn children after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requiring the opportunity for an ultrasound image to be viewed by a mother considering an abortion.    Kentucky law also ensures women have the opportunity for a face-to-face discussion with a health care professional before making a final decision.
    Other laws also have passed but faced legal challenges at the federal level, such as efforts to prevent abortions from being performed due to the sex, race or physical disability of the unborn child.    Kentucky’s Catholic bishops, through the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, supported each of these efforts.
    Our Church’s efforts to care for the vulnerable include but extend well beyond the maternity ward, and Kentucky’s bishops have worked on both legislative and concrete efforts to assist mothers and families.    For two decades, we supported Opportunities for Life, a 24-hour hotline that provided assistance, resources and hope to pregnant women in need.    Today, this assistance is provided through grants to various social service and pregnancy resource programs administered by our Catholic Charities agencies.
    We have endorsed legislation to support families and women in vulnerable circumstances, such as SB 18, passed during the 2019 session, which provides workplace protections for women who are pregnant or nursing.    We have advocated for the creation of a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit.    At the federal level, the bishops of the United States are currently working with Congress and the current presidential administration on numerous efforts to support families, such as making the Child Tax Credit permanent and expanding paid family and medical leave.    We must do everything we can to build a culture that makes welcoming and supporting life the overriding priority.
    I am grateful to all those who have unselfishly sought to be a voice for the voiceless child in the womb.
    As we strive to build a culture of life, we always seek to act with courage, compassion, civility and calm in assisting mothers and fathers and their unborn children.
    Kentucky is not alone in passing strong pro-life laws.    Many states have enacted the same or similar measures.    In states such as Iowa and Kansas, however, state courts have ignored any historical understanding or the plain reading of the text to include a right to abortion or funding for abortions in those states’ constitutions that goes even further than the federal courts decreed in Roe v. Wade and subsequent cases.
    Leaders in Iowa and Kansas joined other states such as Tennessee and Louisiana to propose their own Yes for Life amendments and in so doing, safeguard present and future protections for the child in the womb.
    Thankfully, Kentucky’s courts have not yet taken the same path as Iowa and Kansas, but we cannot rely on them never doing so.
    Kentucky has large majorities in each chamber of the legislature, including members of both parties, who favor legal protections for the unborn.    As long as the text of Kentucky’s Constitution is ambiguous, there is no guarantee that Kentucky’s courts will not follow the same path as the courts in Iowa and Kansas.
    The proposed constitutional amendment is very simple. It adds one sentence to the Kentucky Constitution:
    'To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.'
    When we go to vote on Nov. 8, 2022, we will be asked if we are in favor of adding the above language to the Kentucky Constitution.    I will be voting YES, and I ask you to join me in this worthy effort to protect vulnerable human life.
    The Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., has served as the fourth Archbishop of Louisville since 2007.    From 2013 to 2016, Archbishop Kurtz was the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

10/3/2021 French Catholic Church Had An Estimated 3,000 Paedophiles Since 1950s – Commission Head
FILE PHOTO: Stained-glass windows are seen inside the Reims Cathedral, built in the Gothic style and a UNESCO world heritage site,
where 31 kings of France were coronated, in Reims, France, April 18, 2019. Picture taken April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
    PARIS (Reuters) -The French Catholic Church has had an estimated 3,000 paedophiles in its ranks over the past 70 years, the head of an independent commission investigating the sex abuse scandal said in an interview published on Sunday.
    The scandal in the French Church is the latest to hit the Roman Catholic Church, which has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.
    The French commission is due to publish its findings on Tuesday, marking the culmination of 2-1/2 years of work, probing allegations of abuse going back to the 1950s.
    “We have estimated the number (of paedophiles) as standing at 3,000, out of 115,000 priests and religious officials, going back to the 1950s,” commission head Jean-Marc Sauve told the Journal du Dimanche paper.
    A spokesperson representing the French Catholic Bishops’ Conference declined to comment on Sauve’s remarks.
    A Vatican spokesperson said it would wait for the full report to be published before deciding on whether to comment.
    In June, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis was a worldwide “catastrophe.”
    The French Catholic Church posted a prayer on its official Twitter account on Sunday, on behalf of victims, and added it would also hold a prayer on Oct. 5 – the day of the publication of the report.
    “Dear Lord – we entrust to you all those who have been victims of violence and sexual attacks in the Church.    We pray that we will always be able to count on your support and help during these ordeals,” it wrote on its Twitter account.
STEPS TO WIPE OUT ABUSE
    Since his election in 2013, Francis has taken a series of steps aimed at wiping out sexual abuse of minors by clerics.
    In 2019, the pope issued a landmark decree making bishops directly accountable for sexual abuse or covering it up, requiring clerics to report any cases to Church superiors and allowing anyone to complain directly to the Vatican if needed.
    This year, he issued the most extensive revision to Catholic Church law in four decades, insisting that bishops take action against clerics who abuse minors and vulnerable adults.    Critics have said he has not done enough.
    The French Church, which has seen dwindling numbers of faithful in recent years, said in March it would propose financial compensation to those who were victims of abuse.
    Last month, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cologne decided to take a “spiritual time-out” from his duties after committing grave errors in a crisis over clerical sexual abuse.
    A report published last year in Britain said the Catholic Church received more than 900 complaints involving over 3,000 instances of child sex abuse in England and Wales between 1970 and 2015, and that there have been more than 100 reported allegations a year since 2016.
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Philip Pullella;Editing by Frances Kerry)

[THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE LOOKS MORE LIKE A "UNITED RELIGIOUS INITIATIVE" FOR interfaiths to all religions or better said ONE WORLD RELIGION the Interfaith Movement Initiative which is connected to the "Sustainable Development Goals" of the Global Socialist One World Government and the UNITED NATIONS desguised as “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” BUT AS YOU REAAD BELOW IT IS A WAR ON CREATION AND ALL OF US KNOW WHO IS THE CREATOR.].
10/4/2021 Pope, Other Religious Leaders Issue Pre-COP26 Appeal On Climate Change by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis takes part in the "Faith and Science: Towards COP26" meeting with other religious leaders ahead of the United Nations
Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November in Britain, at the Vatican, October 4, 2021. Vatican Media/¬Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis and other religious leaders made a joint appeal on Monday for next month’s U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) to offer concrete solutions to save the planet from “an unprecedented ecological crisis.”
    The “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” meeting brought together Christian leaders including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as representatives of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism.
    “COP26 in Glasgow represents an urgent summons to provide effective responses to the unprecedented ecological crisis and the crisis of values that we are presently experiencing, and in this way to offer concrete hope to future generations,” the pope said.
    “We want to accompany it with our commitment and our spiritual closeness,” he said in an address which he gave to participants instead of reading out in the Vatican’s frescoed Hall of Benedictions so that others had more time to speak.
    The appeal, which described climate change as a “grave threat,” was handed to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain’s Alok Sharma, president of COP26 in Glasgow.
    “The faith leaders who have come here today represent around 3/4 of the world’s population.    That is by any measure a significant percentage of people across the globe and that’s why their voice matters so much,” Sharma said after the meeting, which was organised by the Vatican, Britain and Italy.
‘WAR ON CREATION’
    Welby, spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, called for a “global financial architecture which repents of its past sins,” including changes in tax rules to promote green activity.
    “We have in the past 100 years declared war on creation… Our war against the climate affects the poorest among us,” Welby said.
    The appeal urges all governments to adopt plans to help limit the rise in the average global temperature to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.
    Wealthier countries must take the lead in reducing their own emissions and in financing poorer nations’ emission reductions, it said.
    “We plead with the international community, gathered at COP26, to take speedy, responsible and shared action to safeguard, restore and heal our wounded humanity and the home entrusted to our stewardship,” said the appeal, which followed months of online meetings among the 40 or so religious leaders.
    Several participants stressed that no nation could go it alone.
    “If one nation sinks, we all sink,” said Rajwant Singh, a Sikh leader from the United States, who sang a poem for the participants.
    In his written address, Francis said cultural and religious differences should be seen as a strength, not a weakness, in defending the environment.
    “Each of us has his or her religious beliefs and spiritual traditions, but no cultural, political or social borders or barriers prevent us from standing together,” he said.
    The Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, told Reuters on Sunday he hoped Monday’s meeting could “raise ambitions” on what can be achieved at Glasgow.
    Scotland’s bishops said in July that the pope would attend the opening of COP26, health permitting.    A decision is expected in the next few days.
    Francis, 84, strongly supports the goals of the 2015 U.N. Paris accord to reduce global warming.    He told young people at the weekend that theirs was “perhaps the last generation” to save the planet.
    U.S. President Joe Biden returned the United States to the Paris accords after his predecessor Donald Trump pulled it out.    Biden and the pope are expected to meet at the Vatican at the end of October.
(Reporting by Philip PullellaEditing by Gareth Jones)

10/5/2021 Report Finds 216,000 Children Were Victims Of French Clergy Sex Abuse Since 1950
A woman walks into the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, France, October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
    PARIS (Reuters) – A report into sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church has found that at least 216,000 children were victims of abuse at the hands of clergy since 1950, Jean-March Sauve, head of the commission that compiled the report, said at a news conference.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Christian Lowe)
[THE SCARLET WOMAN HAS BEEN BUSY FOR DECADES OR MAYBE EVEN CENTURIES BUT THE 1950 WAS MY START OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS.].

10/5/2021 Vatican Trial Prosecutors Concede Case Gaps, Willing To Investigate More by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Trial begins at the Vatican for 10 people, including prominent Italian cardinal Angelo Becciu,
who are charged with financial crimes including embezzlement, money laundering, fraud, extortion
and abuse of office, at the Vatican, July 27, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -The prosecution at a Vatican trial of 10 people accused of financial crimes, including a cardinal, acknowledged on Tuesday weaknesses in its case and said it was willing to return to the investigative phase to fill in gaps contested by the defence.
    Deputy prosecutor Alessandro Diddi made the surprise announcement at the first hearing since the trial started in July, saying: “I feel the duty to meet (the defence requests) half-way.”
    Defence lawyers told the court Diddi’s request was unacceptable.    Citing a raft of what they said were procedural errors, they asked court president Giuseppe Pignatone to annul the 500-page indictment of the 10 handed down on July 3, which would effectively kill the current trial.
    Pignatone adjourned the trial after about two hours and said he would announce his decisions on Wednesday morning.
    The trial revolves mostly around the purchase by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of a commercial and residential building at 60 Sloane Avenue in London’s South Kensington, one of the wealthiest districts in the British capital.
    If Pignatone agrees to Diddi’s request he and others on the prosecution team will return to their work with thousands of pages and evidence and documents, question some of the defendants again, and other witnesses for the first time.
    In the first two sessions of the trial, defence lawyers said their work was hindered because they did not have access to all the evidence and were concerned about possible discrepancies.
    In particular, they want to view videos of five interrogations of Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, a former Vatican official who was first a suspect and then a star witness for the prosecution.
    Prosecutors have suggested that there were privacy concerns regarding other people in Perlasca’s testimony and feared they would be leaked.
    Perlasca is the main witness in the case against the most prominent defendant, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a once powerful Vatican official.
    The prosecution has accused Becciu, other former Vatican officials or employees and outside middlemen involved in the deal of embezzlement, abuse of office, and fraud, among other charges. They all have denied wrongdoing.
    The Secretariat of State sank more than 350 million euros into the London investment, according to Vatican media, and suffered what Cardinal George Pell, an ex-Vatican treasurer, told Reuters last year were “enormous losses.”
    Pope Francis fired Becciu from his last Vatican post in 2020 for alleged nepotism, which he also has denied.
(Reporting by Philip PullellaEditing by Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich)

10/5/2021 Pope Francis Learns “With Sorrow” Of French Clergy Abuse Report – Vatican
A man prays in Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice, France, October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis “learned with sorrow” about the content of an investigation into sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church, a Vatican statement said on Tuesday.
    “First of all his thoughts go to the victims, with great sorrow, for their wounds,” the statement said, adding that the pope also felt gratitude for the courage they had shown in denouncing what they had been through.
    “(His thoughts go to) the Church of France, so that, in the awareness of this terrible reality … it may embark on a path of redemption,” the statement added.
    French clergy have sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years, a major investigation released on Tuesday found.    Its authors accused the Catholic Church of turning a blind eye for too long.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti, editing by Gavin Jones)

10/6/2021 Moderate And Progressive Democrats Duke It Out Over Hyde Amendment by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks at a press conference outside his
office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    A new point of contention has surfaced for the already divided Democrat Party in the debate over the $3.5 trillion spending plan, that being the Hyde Amendment.    Joe Biden took a weak stance on whether abortions should be federally funded on Tuesday.
    “I’d sign it either way,” said Biden.    The Hyde Amendment prevents taxpayer dollars from funding abortions, with the exception of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is threatened.
    Meanwhile, one Democrat senator has taken a stance on the decades-old amendment, calling it a red line.    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has even gone so far as to say the bill would be dead on arrival in any attempt by his fellow lawmakers to remove it.    However, some of his progressive colleagues are trying to do just that.
    Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) has continuously expressed her plans to push for the amendment’s removal from the reconciliation bill.
    “This is a negotiation and we’ve gotta continue to move this forward, but the Hyde Amendment is something that the majority of the country does not support.    One in four women have had an abortion and need to have reproductive care in a very very important time when those protections are being rolled back.”
    She has taken interviews where she goes on to prove the point of many who are opposed to repealing the Hyde Amendment.
    “That is nobody’s business.    It is our [women’s] business as people who carry the babies.    And we have to be able to make those choices during our pregnancy,” Jayapal said.
    Although, critics have said repealing the amendment would make abortions every American’s business.    The Supreme Court has held the same view on Hyde since 1980, saying it doesn’t violate equal protection or due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
    Some lawmakers like Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who supports the amendment, question whether it would need to be included in this particular package when it’s normally part of Congress’ annual government appropriations bills.    But regardless, Manchin said Congress has to work together to make this legislation work.

10/6/2021 “This Is The Moment Of Shame,” Pope Says About France Abuse Report by Angelo Amante
Pope Francis greets bishops during the weekly general audience in the
Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican, October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -Pope Francis said on Wednesday he was saddened and ashamed by the Catholic Church’s inability to deal with sexual abuse of children in France and that the Church must make itself a “safe home for everyone.”
    “I would like to express to the victims my sadness, sorrow for the trauma they have suffered and also my shame, our shame, for the church’s inability, for too long, to put them at the centre of its concerns,” Francis said at his weekly general audience.
    Speaking a day after a major investigation revealed that French clergy had abused more than 200,000 children over 70 years, the pontiff invited Catholics in France to take responsibility for what had happened in order to make the Church a “safe home for everyone.”
    “This is the moment of shame,” he said, calling on bishops to make every efforts to ensure that “similar tragedies do not happen again.”
    Before the audience began, the pope and several visiting French bishops prayed silently for the victims of abuse, a picture released by the Vatican showed.
    French President Emmanuel Macron said lives had “been shaken, sometimes broken” by the abuse and that the truth was necessary.
    “A society is judged by its ability to denounce and punish such violence, to try to repair lives, but even more so to prevent it,” Macron said after a meeting of European leaders in Slovenia in his first remarks on the investigation’s findings.
    Jean-Marc Sauve, head of the commission that compiled the report, said the Church had shown indifference towards the abuses for years, preferring to protect itself rather than the victims, many of them aged between 10 and 13.
    The height of the abuse was 1950-1970, the commission said in its report, with an apparent resurgence in cases in the early 1990s.
    The pontiff added that he was close to French priests dealing with a “hard, yet healthy” challenge.
    The Pope had already expressed his gratitude to victims for the courage they had in coming forward and denouncing what they had been through.
    Several hours after the pope spoke, a Vatican court cleared two priests charged in connection with alleged sexual abuse in a youth seminary in the Vatican between 2006 and 2012.
    The trial is the first in the Vatican concerning sexual abuse that allegedly occurred on Vatican territory.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante; writing by Giulia Segreti and Philip Pullella; editing by Catherine Evans, Philippa Fletcher and Toby Chopra)

10/7/2021 Pope, At Peace Meeting With Merkel, Says Divert Arms Money For Food, Vaccines by Philip Pullella
Children wave as Pope Francis and other religious leaders attend an interfaith prayer
for peace at the Colosseum, in Rome, Italy, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis, closing a peace meeting of world religions, called the arms trade a bane of humanity on Thursday, saying that money spent on weapons should be diverted to feed the hungry and distribute vaccines fairly.
    “Fewer arms and more food, less hypocrisy and more transparency, more vaccines distributed fairly and fewer weapons marketed indiscriminately,” Francis said in his address at the event in front of the ancient Colosseum.
    Francis spoke after remarks by Muslim and Jewish leaders, by other Christians, and by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who held talks with the pope earlier in the day.
    “War plays games with human lives. So does violence and the bane of a burgeoning arms trade, often moving in the shadows, fed by underground streams of money,” Francis said.
    Francis has called for disarmament and for a total ban on nuclear weapons in the past.
    “Let us unambiguously urge that arms be set aside and military spending reduced, in order to provide for humanitarian needs, and that instruments of death be turned into instruments of life,” he said.
    The annual international meeting of religious leaders has been organised since 1986 by the Rome-based Sant’Egidio Community, a worldwide Catholic charity and peace group.
    Both Francis and Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, noted that they were before an amphitheatre used for brutal mass entertainment in Roman times.
    “Today, we too can be spectators of violence and war, of brothers killing brothers, like games we watch from a safe distance, indifferent, certain that they will never affect us.    The suffering of others scarcely troubles us,” Francis said.
    “Not even the sufferings of victims of war, migrants, young boys and girls trapped in conflicts and robbed of the carefree games of childhood.    The lives of peoples and young children are not playthings,” he said.
    Both the pope, who has often condemned “vaccine nationalism,” and Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Ahzar mosque and university in Cairo, spoke of vaccine inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Tayeb said that while large sectors of people in developed countries were vaccinated against COVID-19, in parts of Africa it was only 2-3% of populations.
    “This crisis has laid bare an extreme poverty of the duty of conscience and responsibility,” Tayeb said.
    Merkel said people had to keep their eyes fixed on those who were suffering the most.
    “I come from a country that has learned from its past,” Merkel said.    “I hope that all of us continue in a spirit of tolerance.”
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Giles Elgood)
[I WONDER WHOSE CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED IN THE FESTIVITIES ABOVE FOR ONE OF THOSE STRANGE INTERFAITH MOVEMENTS
Interfaith Community Services empowers people in need to stabilize and improve their lives through comprehensive programs, in partnership with diverse faith.
Interfaith, in its most basic sense, is when people or groups from different religious/spiritual worldviews and traditions come together. ... Interfaith cooperation is the conscious bringing together of people from diverse religious, spiritual, and ethical beliefs.
.].

10/7/2021 France Rebukes Bishop Who Said Sex Abuse Revealed At Confession Would Stay Secret
A confessional on which is written: "M. the Priest" is pictured in the church
in Reze near Nantes, France, October 5, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s top bishop has been summoned by the interior minister after saying that the pact of secrecy would prevent a priest from reporting sex crimes against children that were revealed during Catholic confession.
    Following the publication of a report this week about sexual abuse of children by the clergy https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/report-finds-216000-children-were-victims-french-clergy-sex-abuse-since-1950-2021-10-05, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, who is archbishop of Reims and head of the Bishops’ Conference of France, said in a radio interview that the secrecy of the confession rite takes precedence over the laws of the republic.
    Under French law, anyone who is aware of a sex crime against a minor is obliged to report it to the authorities and risks heavy fines and imprisonment if failing to do so.
    “Nothing takes precedence over the laws of the republic in our country,” French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Thursday.
    He added that Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin – who also oversees religious issues – would receive de Moulins-Beaufort next week at the request of President Emmanuel Macron “in order to make sure that things are clear.”
    In the Catholic religion, confession is a rite during which sinners acknowledge their sins to a priest and seek forgiveness from God.    It is usually performed anonymously in a confession booth, behind a screen, so that the priest can hear but not see the penitent.
    “Confession must remain secret because it opens a space where one can speak freely… before God,” de Moulins-Beaufort said on franceinfo radio.
    De Moulins-Beaufort said it was unlikely that many pedophiles would admit to their crimes during confession and that even if they did, it would be in euphemistic terms.
    He added that when children indicate during confession that they are being abused, the church must look for other ways to help them speak out.    “Many children only speak during confession because they know it is secret,” he said.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Peter Graff)

10/8/2021 Biden Touts ‘Build Back Better’ Agenda While Addressing Dismal Sept. Jobs Report by OAN Newsroom
Joe Biden waits to speak on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Joe Biden addressed the disastrous unemployment numbers for September.    Speaking from the White House on Friday, Biden tried to put an optimistic spin on economic recovery from the pandemic while he’s been in office.
    The Democrat pointed to the drop in unemployment in the past three months by saying it has dropped faster than ever.    His comments come as the latest jobs report for September showed the market added only 194,000 new jobs, which fell well below economists’ expectations of 500,000.
    Biden also took the opportunity to tout his failing trillions of dollars infrastructure plans by calling for an investment and not just traditional infrastructure but so-called human infrastructure.
    “But it isn’t enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure.    We’re gonna lead the world like we used to,” he said.    “If we’re gonna do that we also have to invest in our people.    That’s what my second bill does, the Build Back Better plan.”
    Meanwhile, Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is currently stalled in the Senate amid opposition from all Republicans and from moderate Democrat lawmakers.
[THE BUILD BACK BETTER DREAM HAS TURNED INTO THE BUILD ANOTHER OBAMA NIGHTMARE FROM CORRUPT BIDEN AND TO LET YOU KNOW THE SEVEN THINGS THE DEMOCRATS DID TO TRUMP FOR 4 YEARS IS MADE THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB GIVE YOU SEVEN THINGS YOU HAVE TRIED TO FAIL MISERABLY AND IT WILL CONTINUE UNTIL YOU STOP YOUR OVER-REACH ON THIS CHRISTIAN NATION THAT WAS A CHRISTIAN NATION AND YOU ARE BRINGING THE ANTICHRIST TO DESTROY IT.].

10/9/2021 Pelosi Meets Pope As Abortion Debate Rages Back Home by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis welcomes U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as they meet at
the Vatican, October 9, 2021. Vatican Media/¬Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis met on Saturday with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who has come under criticism from some bishops in the United States for her support for abortion rights.
    Their meeting took place several weeks before Joe Biden is expected to meet the pope while the U.S. president is in Rome for talks between leaders of the Group of 20 major economies.
    Biden, the second Catholic U.S. president, has said he is personally opposed to abortion but, as a politician, cannot impose his views.    Pelosi, who has five children, has said she supports a woman’s right to choose.
    Biden’s administration and Pelosi have urged judges to block a new Texas law which bars abortions from six weeks, saying it is unconstitutional.    The ban was temporarily reinstated on Friday by a conservative-leaning appeals court.
    The Catholic Church teaches that human life begins at the moment of conception and Biden and Pelosi have been criticised by conservative Catholic media and U.S. conservative bishops, some of whom say neither should be allowed to receive communion.
    Last month the pope, asked about the U.S. communion debate, told reporters abortion is “murder,” even soon after conception, and appeared to criticise U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than pastoral way.
    “Communion is not a prize for the perfect … communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church,” the pope said.     In June, a divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden. They take up the issue again next month.
    In a statement, Pelosi said the audience with the pope was a “spiritual, personal and official honor.”    She praised his defence of the environment, immigrants, refugees and the poor.
    The Vatican announced Pelosi’s audience with the pope in its daily bulletin but gave no details.
    After Pelosi met former Pope Benedict in 2009, the Vatican said he had told her that legislators and other public figures should help create “a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development
    The archbishop in Pelosi’s home city of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has said public figures who support abortion should be denied communion in his archdiocese and has urged Catholics to pray for Pelosi’s “conversion of heart
    Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has not tried to stop Biden, a regular church-goer, from receiving communion.
    Biden’s meeting with the pope will be the first since his election although they have met several times before, including when he was vice-president to Barack Obama.
    Pelosi is in Rome for a Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit ahead of the G20 as well as a meeting of parliamentary leaders before of the U.N. Climate Change Summit (COP20) next month in Glasgow.
    Francis told the parliamentarians separately on Saturday they had a decisive role to play in protecting the environment.
    The Vatican announced on Friday that the pope would not be going to Glasgow but that its delegation would be headed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state.
(Additional reporting by Daphne Psaledakis in Washington; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Clelia Oziel)
[POPE YOU CANNOT WALK ON THE MIDDLE OF THE FENCE YOU MUST CHOOSE THE SIDE YOU FALL ON AND LIVE THAT LIFE BUT IN YOUR CASE YOU WANT TO JUMP BACK AND FORTH OVER THE FENCE DEPENDING ON WHO IS SELLING YOU THEIR POLITICS AND KILLING A LIFEFORM WHO IS UNBORN IS MURDER IN GOD'S EYES SINCE HE PUT THE SOUL IN IT AND WHEN YOU DIE GOD WILL PUT THOSE PEOPLE IN A ROOM FULL OF THOSE SOULS AND YOURS WILL BE VERY CROWDED IF SHUMER AND PELOSI WILL BE WITH YOU.].

10/10/2021 Pope Meets Colombian Nun Freed From Mali Kidnapping
Pope Francis leads a mass to open the synod of bishops in Vatican City, October 10, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday met a Colombian nun who was freed https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/colombian-nun-held-hostage-mali-since-2017-has-been-freed-presidency-says-2021-10-09 after being kidnapped by Islamist militants in Mali four years ago.
    The Vatican said in a statement that Francis met Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez in St. Peter’s Basilica just before he celebrated Mass there to open a two-year worldwide consultation https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/colombian-nun-held-hostage-mali-since-2017-has-been-freed-presidency-says-2021-10-09 on the Catholic Church’s future.
    The Mali presidency announced her release on Saturday but the timing and other details were not clear.
    Kidnapping has been a lucrative source of cash for Islamist groups in West Africa’s Sahel region, where they are waging an expanding insurgency against national armies, French forces and U.N. peacekeepers.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry)

10/10/2021 Pope Opens Two-Year Consultation On Catholic Church Future by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis leads a mass to open the synod of bishops in Vatican City, October 10, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday launched a two-year worldwide consultative process that could change the way the Roman Catholic Church makes decisions and leave its mark long after his pontificate is over.
    Proponents see the initiative called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” as an opportunity to change the Church’s power dynamics and give a greater voice to lay Catholics, including women, and people on the margins of society.
    Conservatives say the three-stage process is a waste of time, may erode the hierarchical structure of the 1.3 billion member Church and in the long run could dilute traditional doctrine.
    At a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis said Catholics should have a open mind about the process.
    “Are we prepared for the adventure of this journey?    Or are we fearful of the unknown, preferring to take refuge in the usual excuses: ‘It’s useless’ or ‘We’ve always done it this way'”?    Francis said in his homily.
    In the first stage, Catholics in parishes and dioceses around the world will discuss issues such as whether the Church listens enough to young people, women, minorities, and those on the margins of society.
    They also will discuss how to identify stereotypes and prejudices in their local communities and what type of Church they think God wants in today’s world.
    Following discussions at national and continental levels, bishops will meet at the Vatican for a month in 2023.    They will prepare a document and then the pope will write an Apostolic Exhortation giving his views, suggestions and perhaps instructions on various issues.
    “Let us not soundproof our hearts; let us not remain barricaded in our certainties.    Let us listen to one another,” the pope said at the Mass attended by about 3,000 people.
    Francis has said that while there should be more consultation and mutual listening among the various parts of the Church, only popes can take the ultimate decisions on doctrinal matters.
    In his homily on Sunday, he said synodality, which comes from the Greek and means roughly walking together on a common path, could not become “a Church convention, a study group, a political congress or a parliament, but rather a grace-filled event, a process of healing guided by the Holy Spirit.”
    Writing in the conservative U.S. Catholic journal First Things, which has often been critical of the pope, theologian George Weigel said it was unclear how “two years of self-referential Catholic chatter” would address problems such as diminishing Church attendance.
    The progressive U.S.-based National Catholic Reporter newspaper praised the initiative as a chance for more inclusiveness.
    “It may not be a perfect process, but the Church is more likely to address the needs of the people of God with it than without it,” an editorial said.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Barbara Lewis)

10/10/2021 Calif. Mandates ‘Gender-Neutral’ Toy Sections For Large Retailers by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 3, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom listens to questions
during a news conference in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
    California has become the first state to require large retailers to have gender-neutral sections for children’s projects.    Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) signed a law on Saturday mandating retail stores with 500 or more employees to provide gender-neutral sections for children’s projects such as toys and hygiene.
    However, clothing sections would remain separated by gender.    The legislation, which was introduced by Democrat Assemblyman Evan Low (Calif.), will take effect on January 2024.
    “We wanna raise our daughter to know that she’s a girl.    That’s how she was born, that’s how she will live and our sons that they were born boys,” one parent explained.    “I want my daughter to dress like a girl and I want my boys to dress like boys and I want those sections to be separated.”
FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2018, file photo, Assemblyman Evan Low, (D), watches the debate over a bill during the Assembly session in
Sacramento, Calif. California is the first state to require large department stores to display products like toys and
toothbrushes in gender neutral ways. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
    Although many parents have different views, companies failing to comply with the new law could face penalties up to $250 for a first violation and $500 for any subsequent violations.

10/12/2021 NC official stands by LGBTQ ‘filth’ comments in video - Lieutenant governor faces calls for resignation by Brian Gordon, The Fayetteville Observer USA TODAY NETWORK
    ASHEVILLE, N.C. – North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has doubled down after his comments calling transgenderism and homosexuality “filth” drew widespread rebukes and calls for him to resign.
    Robinson, a Republican, made the comments in June at the Asbury Baptist church in Seagrove.
    “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” he told the audience.    “And yes, I called it filth.    And if you don’t like it that I called it filth, come see me and I’ll explain it to you.”
    Robinson holds the second-highest office in the state, and he would take over if Gov. Roy Cooper is ever unable to perform his duties.
    His words went viral last week after the group Right Wing Watch tweeted a clip of his speech.    In recent days, scores of advocacy groups and politicians – from Raleigh to the White House – have denounced what Robinson said.
    “These words are repugnant and offensive,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement Oct. 8.    “The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hate and undermine their own office.”
    In his tweet calling on Robinson to resign, state Sen. Jeff Jackson, who also is running for U.S. Senate, wrote: “There’s no debate here.    This is open discrimination.
    It is completely unacceptable
.”
    When she first heard Robinson’s comment, Allison Scott of the Asheville-based nonprofit Campaign for Southern Equality said her thoughts went to LGBTQ young people who are experiencing prejudice because of their identities.
    “For some of them, it starts taking away their hope that things are going to change or even can change,” said Scott, who is transgender.    “And that’s scary.”
    Scott said Robinson’s words illustrate why more local governments should push for more LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinances.
    But Robinson is standing by his words.    When asked by WRAL in an interview last week if he would use a different word besides “filth,” he said, “Absolutely not.”    In defending his comments, he argued he was specifically discussing the teaching of LGBTQ issues in public schools.
    “That is in reference to introducing it to children in the classroom,” Robinson told WRAL, adding that “in our public schools, it has no place.”
    He made similar comments Oct. 1 at an anniversary celebration for the North Carolina Values Coalition.
    “And they’re pushing these perverted agendas, to try to teach our children that they’re really not boys or girls, or they’re shoving this homosexuality garbage down their throats,” he said.
    What children are taught in schools has been a major issue for Robinson.    In March, he launched a “fairness and accountability” task force called F.A.C.T.S. aimed at “exposing indoctrination in the classroom.”    The task force’s online portal allowed parents to report alleged instances of indoctrination in K-12 classrooms.
North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says he was specifically
discussing the teaching of LGBTQ issues in public schools. BRYAN ANDERSON/AP FILE

10/12/2021 Love Is Love: Gay Marriage Possible For Dutch Monarch
FILE PHOTO: Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands takes part in King's Day
in Amersfoort, Netherlands April 27, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -In the country that first legalised gay marriage, the Dutch crown princess has the right to marry a person of any gender without giving up her right to the throne, the prime minister said on Tuesday.
    Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, 17, has not made any comments on the matter, and little is known of her personal life.    The question arose after recently published books argued that the country’s rules exclude the possibility of a same-sex royal couple.
    But Prime Minister Mark Rutte said times have changed since one of his predecessors last addressed the issue in the year 2000.
    “The government believes that the heir can also marry a person of the same sex,” Rutte wrote in a letter to parliament.
    “The cabinet therefore does not see that an heir to the throne or the King should abdicate if he/she would like to marry a partner of the same sex.”
    Gay marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001.
    Rutte said that one issue remains unresolved: how a gay marriage would affect later succession of the royal couple’s children.    And it doesn’t make sense to try to decide that now, he said.
    “It’s just very dependent on the facts and circumstances of the specific case, as you can see by looking back at how family law can change over time,” he wrote.
    Unlike regular marriages, royal marriages need the approval of parliament.    Members of the Dutch royal house have on occasion given up their place in the line of succession to marry someone without permission.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Giles Elgood)

10/13/2021 Court absolves Vatican for sexual-abuse blame - Plaintiffs say hierarchy ‘structurally deficient’ by Nicole Winfield, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    ROME – A European court agreed Tuesday that the Vatican couldn’t be sued in a local court for sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, affirming that it enjoys sovereign immunity and that the misconduct of priests and their superiors can’t be attributed to the Holy See.
    The European Court of Human Rights dismissed a case brought by two dozen people who said they were victims of abusive priests in Belgium.    The plaintiffs had argued the Holy See was liable because of the “structurally deficient” way the Catholic hierarchy had for decades covered up cases of priests who raped and molested children.
    The plaintiffs appealed to the Strasbourg- based court after Belgian courts ruled they had no jurisdiction given the Holy See’s immunity as a sovereign state.
    The European court said the Belgian judges were correct and that the victims hadn’t been deprived of their right to have access to a court.    It restated the Belgian court ruling that the Holy See enjoys sovereign immunity and that no exception to that rule applied since the misconduct of bishops in handling abuse cases couldn’t be attributed to the Vatican.    Citing the Belgian decision, the European court said the pope wasn’t the “principal” of his bishops, “that the misconduct attributed directly to the Holy See hadn’t been committed on Belgian territory but in Rome; and that neither the pope nor the Holy See had been present on Belgian territory when the misconduct attributed to the leaders of the church in Belgium had been committed,” according to a summary of the ruling.
    The European court said it wasn’t appropriate to substitute its own assessment since the Belgian decision hadn’t been arbitrary or unreasonable.
    Tuesday’s ruling, the first time the Holy See’s immunity was tested by the European court, was a Chamber judgment.    Both sides have three months to ask that the case be heard by the court’s Grand Chamber for a final decision.
    In a dissenting opinion, Judge Darian Pavli disputed the Belgian court’s finding about the level of authority that the pope exercises over his bishops.    He argued Belgian judges hadn’t considered evidence that the pope does, in fact, hire and fire bishops and that the Vatican as a policy had imposed a code of silence over the handling of abuse cases worldwide.
    Pavli argued that the European tribunal should have found that Belgian judges deprived the victims of access to a court.
    The Holy See has successfully argued in U.S. courts that the pope isn’t the boss of his bishops, blocking attempts by victims who have similarly tried to hold the Holy See and the pope liable for their abuse.    More such lawsuits were filed in recent years, including from victims of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation found he sexually abused minors and adults.
    The Vatican declined to comment on the ruling, saying it speaks for itself.
Plaintiffs had argued the Holy See was liable because the Catholic hierarchy had covered up cases of priests who abused children. ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AP

10/13/2021 Italy Court Overturns Arrest Warrant For Broker On Trial At Vatican
FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past the entrance to the 60 Sloane Avenue in London,
Britain, April 13, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s highest appeals court on Wednesday overturned an arrest warrant for an Italian broker on trial at the Vatican in a case involving the purchase of building in one of London’s smartest districts, his lawyer said.
    Gianluigi Torzi was one of two brokers involved in the deal and is facing charges of embezzlement, fraud, money laundering and extortion at the trial that began in July. He denies any wrongdoing.
    Lawyer Ambra Giovane said the appeals court had overturned the arrest warrant and sent it back to a lower tribunal that would now have to decide whether to rescind or confirm it.
    Torzi lives in London and is fighting an international arrest warrant.    If the lower tribunal rescinds the Italian arrest warrant, the international one would lapse, she said.
    It was the latest setback for the prosecution at the trial of 10 defendants, including a cardinal who was fired by Pope Francis and a number of former Vatican employees.
    At a session last week, the chief judge ordered the prosecution to give the defence more access to evidence and to question defendants who were not given the right to speak earlier.
    The Vatican’s Secretariat of State sank more than 350 million euros into the building in the South Kensington area of the British capital, according to Vatican media, and suffered what Cardinal George Pell, an ex-Vatican treasurer, told Reuters last year were “enormous losses
    The judge has given the prosecution until Nov. 3 to give the defence more evidence ahead of the trial’s scheduled resumption on Nov. 17.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Giles Elgood)

10/15/2021 Texas House Passes ‘Save Women’s Sports Bill’ by OAN Newsroom
AUSTIN, TX – JULY 13: U.S. Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Texas) speaks to members of the media in the
Texas Capitol on July 13, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
    The Texas House recently voted in legislation that prohibits transgender athletes from competing on teams based on their gender identity.    Representatives passed House Bill 25 in a 70-to-54 vote on Thursday.
    The “Save Women’s Sports Bill” requires students to play on teams that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate at or near the time of birth, rather than the gender they identify with.
    “House Bill 25 is a common sense solution, it protects the safety and the right to equal participation to the 332,000 girls in UIL sports,” said Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Texas).
    Similar bills had previously passed in the Texas Senate on three separate occasions, but until Thursday’s vote, it had not been able to make it to the House floor.    Rep. Swanson is the bill’s author.
    “I would not have brought the bill if I didn’t feel like it was important for us to protect our girls here in Texas, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of girls right now, and all the ones following them,” stated Swanson.
    Republican lawmakers like Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Texas) argued that fairness and the integrity of women’s sports is at risk. He pointed out how if a biological male is practicing on a woman’s team, a biological female risks losing a spot.
    Swanson said Thursday’s vote was a huge hurdle in the battle to protect girl’s equal access to athletic opportunities like college scholarships.
    “By passing this bill, we are standing up for our daughters and granddaughters, we are standing up for their right to compete in sports and all the opportunities in life that flow from that,” the lawmaker said.
    The bill now advances to the state Senate where it’s expected to pass before heading to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas).

10/15/2021 DOJ To Ask SCOTUS To Halt Texas Abortion Law by OAN Newsroom
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 28: The Guardian or Authority of Law, created by sculptor James Earle Fraser,
rests on the side of the U.S. Supreme Court on September 28, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)
    The Department of Justice is planning to ask the Supreme Court to block the Texas law banning abortions after six weeks.
    On Friday, a DOJ spokesperson confirmed the agency would be asking the court to vacate a stay on a preliminary injunction against the law.    This comes after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay on Thursday in a move permitting the Texas law to continue being enforced while legal challenges proceed.
    GOP leaders have stood by the new law, urging the court to back them in their pursuit to create change.    Although, Democrats’ have continued to urge the lower court to throw the law out completely.
    The DOJ filed a lawsuit over the statute last month shortly after it went into effect.    U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has called the law “clearly unconstitutional” and warned other parts of the country could put a similar law into effect unless it’s thrown out.    However, an agency spokesperson didn’t say when the DOJ would be requesting the court halt the Texas law.
[MERRICK GARLAND CONTINUES TO SHOW HIS REAL BOSS AND HIS NAME IS SATAN BECAUSE EVERYTHING HE IS DOING IS COMING STRAIGHT OUT OF HELL AND HE ALREADY HAS ONE OF HIS FEET IN IT.].

10/16/2021 DOJ will ask high court to halt Texas ban by Paul J. Weber, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    AUSTIN, Texas – The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.
    It comes as the Texas clinics are running out of avenues to stop the GOP-engineered law that bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks.    It amounts to the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years.
    The latest defeat for clinics came Thursday night when a federal appeals panel in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, allowed the restrictions to remain in place for a third time in the last several weeks alone.br>     Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the federal government will now ask the Supreme Court to reverse that decision but did not say how quickly.
    The Biden administration was under pressure from abortion rights supporters to go to the Supreme Court even before the announcement.    The court already once allowed the restrictions to take effect, but did so without ruling on the law’s constitutionality.

10/16/2021 Pope Pledges To Continue Being A ‘Pest’ In Defence Of The Poor by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience at the Paul VI Audience Hall,
at the Vatican, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Saturday he realises some people, including within the Church, consider him to be “a pest” for defending the poor and most vulnerable, but that it won’t stop him as it is part of Christianity.     “Thinking about these situations (of exclusion and inequality), I make a pest of myself with my questions.    And I go on asking.    And I ask everyone in the name of God,” said Francis, Latin America’s first pope.
    He called on pharmaceutical companies to release patents to make vaccines for COVID-19 more available to the poor, noting that only 3%-4% of the population in some countries had been vaccinated.
    Francis, 84, was speaking by video link to the World Meeting of Popular Movements, a grouping of grassroots organisations and social movements which bring attention to inequality in labour, land ownership, health care and other social issues in the developing world.
    He called on industries such as mining and lumber, “to stop destroying forests, wetlands and mountains, to stop polluting rivers and seas, to stop poisoning food and people.”
    Francis said rich countries and financial institutions should cancel the debts of the poorest nations.    Weapons manufacturers and dealers should to stop contributing “to those awful geopolitical games which cost millions of displaced lives and millions of dead.”
    Technology giants should stop allowing hate speech, fake news, conspiracy theories, and political manipulation, he said, and called for a universal basic income and for countries to consider shortening the work day so more people could have jobs.
    “This system, with its relentless logic of profit, is escaping all human control.    It is time to slow the locomotive down, an out-of-control locomotive hurtling towards the abyss.    There is still time,” he said.    “And so, I persist in my pestering.”
    He referred to criticism he has received in the past, especially from U.S. church conservatives, when he has issued similar appeals.
    “It saddens me that some members of the Church get annoyed when we mention these guidelines that belong to the full tradition of the Church,” he said referring to a compendium of Catholic social teaching issued by Pope John Paul II in 2004.
    “But the pope must not stop mentioning this teaching, even if it often annoys people, because what is at stake is not the pope but the Gospel,” he said.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Mike Harrison)

10/17/2021 Pope Condemns Attacks In Norway, Afghanistan And Britain, Following Amess Stabbing
Pope Francis leaves after leading a mass to ordain bishops at St. Peter's Basilica
at the Vatican, October 17, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Sunday condemned recent attacks in Norway, Afghanistan and Britain, in an apparent reference to the stabbing death of parliamentarian David Amess.
    “Last week, various attacks were carried out, for example, Norway, Afghanistan, England, which caused many dead and wounded,” he said at his weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square.
    “I express my closeness to the families of the victims and I pray, please, abandon the path of violence, which is always a loss, a defeat for everyone. Let us remember that violence begets violence,” he said.
    At least 41 people were killed and 70 wounded in a suicide attack at a mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Friday. Hardline Sunni group Islamic State claimed responsibility.
    On Wednesday, a man in Norway killed five people with a bow-and-arrow and other weapons during a half-hour rampage, assaulting his victims in the streets and forcing his way into houses and a supermarket.
    David Amess, 69, of Britain’s Conservative Party, was knifed repeatedly in an attack in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London, during a meeting with constituents in a church.    A 25-year-old British man was detained under terrorism powers on suspicion of murder.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
[SURE GOING AFTER ALL THE KILLING BY ISLAMIC TERRORIST HUMANS OVER RELIGION BUT NOT A PEEP ABOUT ALL THE UNBORN BABIES WHOSE SOULS ARE KILLED BY ABORTIONS BY THE HANDS OF UNGODLY HUMAN TERRORS.].

10/18/2021 Hundreds Protest In Bangladesh Over Religious Violence
Bangladeshi activists join in a torch procession demanding justice for the violence against Hindu communities
during Durga Puja festival in Dhaka, Bangladesh, October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
    DHAKA (Reuters) – Hundreds of people protested in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on Monday calling for an end to religious violence that has gripped the country for four days, leading to at least two deaths and several injured.
    The violence began on Oct. 15, when hundreds of Muslims protested in the southeastern Noakhali district over an allegedly blasphemous incident.    Two Hindu men died following that protest, Mohammed Shahidul Islam, the police chief in Noakhali, told Reuters by phone.
    “There is some confusion about whether they died due to the unlawful assembly, or otherwise,” Islam said, adding that police are investigating the deaths.    “They (the protestors) were miscreants, actually, that is all we can say.”
    Islam declined to share further details.
    Several Hindu religious sites have been attacked in recent days, which the country’s home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said were attacks aimed at destroying the communal harmony in Bangladesh.    Hindus make up around 10% of the Muslim-majority country’s population.
    “No incident has been reported since Saturday night.    Our security forces are working patiently based on intelligence information,” Khan told the news agency ANI.
    Unidentified “miscreants” attacked some homes in the Rangpur city on Monday, police told the agency.
    The unrest is some of the worst in Bangladesh since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party came to power there in 2009.    It poses a challenge to her party, which is seen as the more secular one of the two political groups that have alternated power in Bangladesh for most of its independent history.
    Some of those gathered to protest near the Dhaka University in the capital city on Monday held up banners that demanded the police identify the attackers and bring them to justice.
    “Safety of minorities in the country must be ensured,” one of the banners read.
(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui and Rafiqur Rahman; Editing by Alistair Bell)

10/19/2021 Texas abortion law is back before the Supreme Court by John Fritze, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – Texas’ ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy returned to the Supreme Court on Monday after the Biden administration sought emergency review of a lower court’s ruling that allowed the controversial law to remain in place.
    The appeal gives the high court a chance to temporarily block enforcement of the most restrictive abortion law in the country for the second time in as many months and represents the latest development in a whirlwind of litigation around the Texas ban.
    Because the case is filed on the court’s emergency docket, the justices are likely to move swiftly – possibly within a matter of days – to address it.
    The law “is plainly unconstitutional under this court’s precedents,” the Justice Department told the court in its appeal.    “And Texas’s insistence that no party can bring a suit challenging S.B. 8 amounts to an assertion that the federal courts are powerless to halt the state’s ongoing nullification of federal law.    That proposition is as breathtaking as it is dangerous.”
    Justice Department lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court days after the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled the Texas ban could remain in effect.    The Biden administration wants to block enforcement while a lower court addresses the underlying constitutional questions raised in the challenge to the law.
    A spokesperson for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton did not respond to a request for comment. The Supreme Court has asked Texas to respond to the appeal by midday Thursday.
    A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit released a one-paragraph order Thursday allowing the law to remain in effect.     One of the judges, nominated by President Bill Clinton, dissented. The other two judges were nominated by Republican presidents.
    The rapid legal machinations underscore the significance of a controversy that has thrust abortion back into America’s culture wars and given advocates on both sides of the debate reason to question the future of the court’s landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade establishing a right to abortion.
    Opponents of the Texas law have described the Justice Department’s lawsuit, filed last month, as the best opportunity to quickly put the issue back before the Supreme Court.    But the case is one of several percolating in state and federal courts challenging the law.
    The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, bans abortions when cardiac activity is detected, which can occur at six weeks.    The law includes no exception for rape or incest but permits the procedure for “medical emergencies.”
    Abortion clinics in Texas sued state court officials and the Texas attorney general in July to stop the law, but the Supreme Court turned away the challenge in September, allowing the law to remain in effect for the time being.    A 5-4 majority pointed to the unusual mechanism Texas embraced to enforce the law to assert that the defendants in the case couldn’t be sued because they were not technically enforcing the law.
    Rather than having the state government enforce the ban, Texas encourages private citizens to sue anyone who helps a person get an abortion.    A successful plaintiff could receive at least $10,000 from the abortion provider or others in damages.
    The Justice Department stepped in after that Supreme Court decision, filing a new lawsuit against the state of Texas.    The Biden administration accused the state of working “in open defiance of the Constitution.”
    U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, temporarily blocked the Texas law on Oct. 6, asserting that the state “deliberately circumvented the traditional process” and “drafted the law with the intent to preclude review by federal courts that have the obligation to safeguard the very rights the statute likely violates.”
    Texas appealed the decision a day later.
Contributing: Madlin Mekelburg, Austin American-Statesman

10/19/2021 Click To Pray 2.0 – Vatican App Gets Up Close And Personal With God by Philip Pullella
The 'Click to Pray' app, a smartphone app designed to allow the faithful to pray with a click, is seen on a mobile phone,
in this illustration picture taken in Rome, Italy, October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/Illustration
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican on Tuesday rolled out its latest “Click to Pray” app, offering a personal planner among new functions for what it hopes will be an improved digital “praying experience” in a fast-paced world.
    In its own mini-version of a Silicon Valley-type unveiling, seven Church officials – including a cardinal – took part in a news conference to illustrate Click to Pray 2.0,” the first major update of the app since it was launched in 2016.
    Reporters were shown a punchy, polished video illustrating the app’s new functions, including a personal planner to let users configure their moments of prayer for each day and receive reminders to put the rest of the world on hold.
    “Praying is not a waste of time, as we sometimes think.    Prayer is like the seed in the darkness of the earth, which will show its fruit in its own good time,” said Father Frederic Fornos.
    The app, available in six Western languages and Chinese, gives users specific intentions for which they can pray together with Pope Francis, such as peace in a particular part of the world.
    It also offers a “School of Prayer,” with support for those finding it hard to get started and an option to form prayer groups around the world.br>     The Vatican has increased its social media presence under Francis and officials said more than 50 million people saw the pope’s Tweets on Saturday concerning social justice issues.
    One Italian priest in St. Peter’s Square gave the new app a rave review.
    “It is an extraordinary thing because it allows you to reach people that you don’t physically meet, it becomes a bridge to reach those hearts that sometimes have strayed from God,” said Father Cosimo Schena.
    Officials conceded that the app may not be for everyone and stressed it was not a replacement for traditional, low-tech prayer.
    “It is not meant to invalidate the other places or ways to pray.    It is one more way to reach people who want or need a new way,” said Monsignor Lucio Ruiz, secretary of the Vatican’s communications department.
(Additional reporting by Antonio Denti, editing by Ed Osmond)
[DONT FORGET TO TWEET GOD TODAY OH YEAH FACEBOOK WILL SUSPEND YOU IF YOU DO THAT SINCE THEY ARE THE PRAYER CONTENT SUSPENDERS BUT DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT BECAUSE GOD CAN HEAR YOUR PRAYERS WITHOUT THE WORLDLY DEVICES.].

10/20/2021 Texas ban on abortion faces slew of lawsuits - Any of the challenges could decide law’s fate by John Fritze, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – The Biden administration’s effort to get the Supreme Court to block a Texas ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy may be the best shot reproductive rights advocates now have to halt enforcement of the controversial law.
    But the high-profile case is just one row in a Rubik’s Cube of lawsuits that may signal where the Supreme Court is heading on the thorny question of abortion and whether it will continue to uphold the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established the right to the procedure nationwide.
    Texas’ ban has prompted a flurry of overlapping and difficult-to-follow lawsuits in different courts, any one of which could decide its fate.    The justices, meanwhile, also are considering challenges to other state abortion laws that might affect the Texas case.
    Signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, Texas’ law bans abortions when cardiac activity is detected, which can occur at six weeks.    The law includes no exception for rape or incest.    It is the ban’s unusual enforcement mechanism that has so far confounded courts: Rather than criminalizing the procedure, the law gives private citizens a right to sue abortion providers – and collect damages starting at $10,000.
    The Justice Department on Monday appealed a ruling from the New Orleans- based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that allowed the Texas law to remain in effect – for now.    The Supreme Court hours later asked Texas to respond to that appeal by Thursday, an indication it intends to move quickly to resolve the litigation.
Texas’ restrictive new abortion law has thrust the question back
to the cultural, political and legal spotlight. KEVIN DIETSCH/GETTY IMAGES
    The high court then set the same deadline for a response in another lawsuit challenging the Texas law.    That appeal was filed weeks ago by abortion providers in Texas. Justice Department’s appeal
    The Biden administration stepped into the fray in early September, suing the state of Texas directly in a way the abortion providers who initially tried to block the law were barred from doing.    It is the Justice Department’s suit that has drawn the most attention recently, and experts say it may be the most likely vehicle to halt enforcement of the law.
    U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman, nominated by President Barack Obama, temporarily blocked the Texas law on Oct. 6, asserting that the state “deliberately circumvented the traditional process” and “drafted the law with the intent to preclude review by federal courts that have the obligation to safeguard the very rights the statute likely violates.”    Texas appealed the decision a day later and a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit blocked Pitman’s order, allowing the law to take effect again.
    As expected, the Justice Department appealed to the Supreme Court.    Because the case is being considered on its emergency docket, it may be decided relatively quickly.    It’s also possible the court could move the case to its merits docket and hold oral arguments, which the Biden administration also requested on Monday.
    “Abortion access is facing the greatest threat in generations,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project.    “The Supreme Court must step in to stop this abortion ban from continuing to wreak havoc in Texas and forcing people to carry pregnancies against their will.”
    The administration’s appeal drew fire from anti-abortion groups.
    “This law has already saved hundreds of lives since going into effect,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life Committee.    “The Biden administration’s unconditional support of the abortion industry shows just how far pro-abortion Democrats will go to curry favor with abortionists.”
Abortion clinic case revived
    Abortion providers in Texas filed the first lawsuit in federal court over the summer.    But they faced a major setback in September when a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court declined to halt enforcement of the law.    At the time, the court said it was not ruling on the law’s constitutionality but rather on whether the clinics had sued the right defendants.
    The groups brought their suit back to the high court on Sept. 23.    This time they asked the justices to review their claim on the merits – a posture that meant the justices probably would need weeks, at least, to consider the case.
    In an unusual request, the groups asked the Supreme Court to take their challenge before the 5th Circuit resolves it and to expedite that review.
    There had been little movement in the appeal until Monday, when the high court requested Texas respond by Thursday midday – same as the Justice Department suit.    It’s not clear whether the justices may try to combine the two cases when they ultimately rule.
    “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the response is due the same day as Texas’s response in the federal government’s suit,” tweeted Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.    “The Justices are clearly at least thinking about hearing all of these disputes” together.
State litigation on pause
    When the Texas law took effect on Sept. 1, there was some thought the real action would play out in state court.
    That’s where anti-abortion groups were expected to use the ban to sue clinics and others who helped people obtain the procedure.    Then, the theory went, abortion providers could rely on Supreme Court precedent as a defense.
    A 7-2 majority concluded in Roe v. Wade in 1973 that women have the right to an abortion during the first and second trimesters but that states could impose restrictions in the second trimester.    Years later, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court allowed states to ban most abortions at viability, the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb – roughly 24 weeks.
    In recent years, several states – including Texas – have imposed bans much earlier.
    Two state lawsuits were launched in late September. A man from Arkansas and another in Illinois sued a Texas doctor in two separate actions.    Both told the Austin American-Statesman they supported abortion rights and were suing to overturn the law.    But those cases have largely stalled while the federal litigation continues.
    Both plaintiffs, Felipe Gomez and Oscar Stilley, have sought to intervene in the Justice Department lawsuit.    Stilley told USA TODAY on Monday that his case is “on ice” pending the outcome of the federal litigation but could be revived if the Supreme Court rules in Texas’ favor.    Both men sued Dr. Alan Braid, a San Antonio physician, who announced in a Washington Post op-ed that he performed abortions in violation of the law.
Mississippi case may overlap
    It’s not a Texas case, but the most closely watched abortion lawsuit could have implications for the Lone Star State.    Mississippi officials have directly asked the high court to overturn Roe v. Wade in a case that deals with the state’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.    Opponents have asked the justices to honor Roe and Casey.
    The high court will hear arguments in the Mississippi case on Dec. 1.
    By then, the justices may have already decided whether the Texas law can be enforced.    But the Mississippi outcome could ultimately determine whether the Texas law is constitutional.
Contributing: Madlin Mekelburg, Austin American-Statesman
Abortion opponents hope a Supreme Court conservative majority will overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark
decision that established the right to have an abortion. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP

10/21/2021 Harris Video Address To Va. Churchgoers May Be Illegal by OAN Newsroombr>
Vice President Kamala Harris reacts as people in a hallway sing happy birthday to her as she arrives at the Capitol
for a vote on a voting rights bill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Kamala Harris raised some eyebrows while bringing her political agenda to Virginia churches.    During an interview released on Wednesday, a prominent law professor, Jonathan Turley, said her outreach strategy for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is illegal.
    At least 300 black churches in Virginia have agreed to play a prerecorded video in which Harris urges churchgoers to vote for McAuliffe.    This comes as Harris claims McAuliffe possesses a “clear vision about how to rebuild Virginia’s economy.”
    George Washington University Law School Professor Turley stressed that churches are not allowed to directly intervene in political campaigns due to their tax-exempt status.
[YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT DEMOCRATS CONSIDER RELIGION IS SECONDARY TO POLITICS IF IT GETS IN THEIR WAY TO GET POWER WHICH SHOULD LET YOU KNOW WHERE THE ANTICHRIST ARE HIDING.].

10/23/2021 House Republicans Weigh In On Democrats’ Push To Scrap Hyde Amendment by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCTOBER 21: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gestures as he speaks at his weekly press
conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with leaders of the Pro-Life Caucus and guests on the “Right to Life” to discuss the importance of standing against taxpayer-funded abortions.
    On Friday, the Republican leader met with Congress’ pro-life group members to defend the amendment that Joe Biden once supported and voted in favor of several times when he was a senator.    McCarthy said he wants people to know exactly where their tax money is going, especially with Democrats pushing their trillion-dollar so-called Build Back Better Bill, which aims to remove the Hyde Amendment altogether.
    “But this is one fundamental point that America had come together on for the last 50 years and without one debate, Democrats decided that every element of every bill and especially in this one.    And when you’re talking trillions of dollars being spent, you’re talking lives being lost,” stressed McCarthy.
    The Republican pointed back to 1994 when Biden said “the government should not tell those with strong convictions against abortion, such as you and I, that we must pay for them.”
    However, Democrats are now doing everything in their power to get funding for abortions in any bill they can pass.    Minn. Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R) stressed how important it is that Americans know what’s in the reconciliation package so they can stand up against attacks on their freedoms.
    While most Democrat lawmakers have continued to push for the removal of the 40-year-old amendment, moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), have refused to support the reconciliation package unless the Hyde Amendment is included.    GOP leaders stressed this funding, paid for by American tax dollars, won’t only fund abortions in the U.S., but could potentially fund them globally.
    Since 1976, there has been strong bipartisan agreement that the federal government has no place funding abortion, but now the law is under assault by the Democrat’s spending bill.    McCarthy said he’s appalled by their disregard for life and hopes more can see how important the Hyde Amendment truly is.

10/24/2021 Don’t Send Migrants Back To Unsafe Countries, Pope Says, Citing Libya by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis gestures as he speaks during the weekly general
audience at the Vatican, October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday urged countries not to send migrants back to insecure countries such as Libya, where he said many suffer violent and inhumane conditions similar to those in concentration camps.
    The pope’s appeal at his Sunday blessing came as European Union leaders are struggling to overcome their differences on how to handle immigrants, an issue that feeds support for nationalist and populist groups across the EU.
    “We have to put an end to the return of migrants to countries that are not secure,” he said, citing “thousands of migrants, refugees and others who need protection in Libya.”
    Priority should be given to rescues at sea, orderly disembarkation, alternatives to prison, and regular paths to immigration and asylum procedures, he said.
    Francis asked the international community to “keep their promises” to find lasting solutions to manage migration flows in Libya and all of the Mediterranean.
    “Many of these men, women and children (in Libya) are subjected to an inhumane violence,” he said.
    “How much those who are sent back suffer!    There are real lagers there,” he said, using the German word that is common in Italy when referring to concentration camps.
    “I never forget you.    I hear your cries,” he said.
    This month the U.N. human rights office demanded an inquiry into what it called “unnecessary and disproportionate” force by Libyan security forces to detain African migrants, shooting dead some of those trying to escape.
    Francis spoke a day after the latest hearing of a highly publicised trial in Sicily where former interior minister Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s right-wing League party, faces kidnapping charges for refusing to let a migrant ship dock in the country in 2019.
    The EU has tightened asylum rules and its external borders since more than a million refugees and migrants reached Europe across the Mediterranean six years ago and cut deals with countries like Turkey and Libya for people to stay elsewhere along the global routes.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Giles Elgood)

10/26/2021 Biden To Meet Pope Amid Pressure From Anti-Abortion U.S. Bishops by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his Build Back Better infrastructure agenda at the NJ TRANSIT
Meadowlands Maintenance Complex in Kearny, New Jersey, U.S., October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Devout Roman Catholic Joe Biden meets Pope Francis in the Vatican on Friday at a time when the U.S. president is under intense pressure for his conflicted position in the dispute over abortion rights.
    Biden goes to weekly Mass regularly and keeps a picture of the pope behind his desk in the Oval Office.    He has said he is personally opposed to abortion but as an elected leader cannot impose his views.
    But Conservative Catholic media and U.S. conservative bishops have criticised him for that stand, with some saying he should be banned from receiving communion, the central sacrament of the faith.
    At the same time, supporters of abortion rights have been horrified by a new Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on abortion.    Biden’s administration has challenged the law and the Supreme Court will hear the case next Monday.
    It is not known if Biden and Pope Francis will discuss the abortion and communion disputes at their private meeting on Friday, their first since Biden took office.
    “It’s clear that the pope does not agree with the president about abortion.    He’s made that exceptionally clear,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore told Catholic News Service.
    Asked about the U.S. communion debate last month, the pope told reporters abortion is “murder.”    But he also appeared to criticise U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than pastoral way.
    “Communion is not a prize for the perfect…communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church,” the pope said.
    Bishops should use “compassion and tenderness” with Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, he said.
    Since his election in 2013 as the first Latin American pope, Francis has said that while the Church should oppose abortion it should not become an all-consuming battle in culture wars that detract attention from issues such as immigration and poverty.
    Jo Renee Formicola, political science professor at Seton Hall University, said the meeting should help Biden in his standoff with the U.S. bishops on abortion and shift the spotlight to social justice concerns the two men share.
    “The optics of the pope meeting with Biden basically says to the American (Catholic) hierarchy: ‘Listen, this man and I have the same agenda … don’t expect that I am going to compromise my teachings on things like the environment and immigration,'” she told Reuters in a telephone interview.
CONSERVATIVES ON THE ATTACK
    In June, a divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden.
    The bishops, who went ahead despite a Vatican warning that it would sow discord rather than unity, will take up the issue again next month.
    Catholics hold two of the three top offices in the United States – the other is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.    But instead of uniting co-religionists, as the election of John F. Kennedy as the first Catholic president did in 1960, both Biden and Pelosi have come under attack by Church conservatives.
    They increased their criticism of Biden this month when his administration challenged the Texas law.
    While Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has not tried to stop Biden from receiving communion, the archbishop in Pelosi’s home city of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has told his priests not to give it to her.
    White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement last week the meeting would cover “working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity.”    This would include ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and caring for the poor, she said.
    Like Biden, the pope has urged everyone to get vaccinated and has issued numerous appeals to defend the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels.    Biden will attend the U.N. Climate Change summit in Glasgow and the pope is expected to send a message.
    Many U.S. bishops are climate change sceptics who supported former President Donald Trump, with whom Pope Francis had numerous disagreements.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
[YOU CANNOT WALK ON THE FENCE ALL YOUR LIFE YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHICH SIDE TO GET OFF OF IT AND MAKE A CHOICE AND LIVE WITH THAT DECISION AS IT TURNS OUT TO BE WHICH DIRECTION YOU GO IN ETERNITY.].

10/26/2021 Pope To Visit Cyprus And Greece, Including Lesbos Island, Dec. 2-6
Pope Francis arrives to attend the meeting for the ecumenical pilgrimage to Rome,
at the Paul VI Audience Hall, in the Vatican, October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will visit Cyprus and Greece, including the Greek island of Lesbos to meet migrants, from December 2-6, a Vatican source said on Tuesday.
    Francis will stay in Cyprus Dec. 2-4, his first visit to the ethnically split Mediterranean island, the source said.
    Cyprus’s internationally recognised government is run by Greek Cypriots, while a breakaway administration in the north is recognised only by Turkey.
    The source said Francis would leave Cyprus for Athens on Dec. 4.    The next day, he makes a day trip to the Greek island of Lesbos, where in 2016 he visited the Moria camp and returned to Rome with a dozen Syrian refugees.
    Moria camp was destroyed by a fire last year and replaced with another camp called Mavrovouni.
    Francis is due to return to Rome from Athens on Dec. 6, the source added.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

10/27/2021 Biden To Meet Pope Amid Pressure From Anti-Abortion U.S. Bishops by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his Build Back Better infrastructure agenda at the NJ TRANSIT
Meadowlands Maintenance Complex in Kearny, New Jersey, U.S., October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Devout Roman Catholic Joe Biden meets Pope Francis in the Vatican on Friday at a time when the U.S. president is under pressure from conservatives in the Church for his conflicted position in the dispute over abortion rights.
    Biden goes to weekly Mass regularly and keeps a picture of the pope behind his desk in the Oval Office.    He has said he is personally opposed to abortion but cannot impose his views as an elected leader.
    But conservative Catholic media and U.S. conservative bishops have criticized him for that stand, with some saying the Democratic president should be banned from receiving communion, the central sacrament of the faith.
    At the same time, supporters of abortion rights have been horrified by a new Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on abortion.    Biden’s administration has challenged the law and the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case next Monday.
    It is not known if Biden and Pope Francis will discuss the abortion and communion disputes at their private meeting on Friday, their first since Biden took office in January.
    U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters https://www.reuters.com/world/biden-heads-g20-talk-energy-prices-supply-chain-woes-2021-10-26 on Tuesday that the two men would discuss climate change, migration and income inequality.
    “It’s clear that the pope does not agree with the president about abortion.    He’s made that exceptionally clear,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore told Catholic News Service.
    Asked about the U.S. communion debate last month, the pope told reporters that abortion is “murder.”    But he also appeared to criticise U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than a pastoral way.
    “Communion is not a prize for the perfect.    … Communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church,” the pope said.
    Bishops should use “compassion and tenderness” with Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, he said.
    Since his election in 2013 as the first Latin American pope, Francis has said that while the Church should oppose abortion, the issue should not become an all-consuming battle in culture wars that detract attention from matters such as immigration and poverty.
    Jo Renee Formicola, a political science professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, said the meeting should help Biden in his standoff with the U.S. bishops on abortion and shift the spotlight to social justice concerns the two men share.
    “The optics of the pope meeting with Biden basically says to the American (Catholic) hierarchy: ‘Listen, this man and I have the same agenda.    … Don’t expect that I am going to compromise my teachings on things like the environment and immigration,'” she told Reuters in a telephone interview.
CONSERVATIVES ON THE ATTACK
    In June, a divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden.
    The bishops, who went ahead despite a Vatican warning that it would sow discord rather than unity, will take up the issue again next month.
    Catholics hold two of the three top offices in the United States – the other is Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.    But instead of uniting co-religionists, as the election of John F. Kennedy as the first Catholic U.S. president did in 1960, both Biden and Pelosi have come under attack by Church conservatives.
    They increased their criticism of Biden this month when his administration challenged the Texas law.
    While Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, has not tried to stop Biden from receiving communion, the archbishop in Pelosi’s home city of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has told his priests not to give it to her.
    White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement last week that the meeting would cover “working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity.”    That would include ending the COVID-19 pandemic and caring for the poor, she said.
    Like Biden, the pope has urged everyone to get vaccinated and has issued numerous appeals to defend the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels.    Biden will attend the U.N. Climate Change summit in Glasgow and the pope is expected to send a message.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Peter Cooney)
[WELL POPE, I WOULD NOT DEPEND ON BIDEN’S POSITION SINCE HE CHANGES OR TELLS A DIFFERENT LIE EVERYTIME HE SPEAKS SO JUST BRUSH HIM OFF OR DO THE RIGHT THING AND CONDEMN HIM FOR HIS STANCE IF THE BIBLE AND GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB STATES AND WE KNOW IT IS WRONG TO KILL A BABY WHO HAS A HEARTBEAT ALSO WAS GIVEN A SOUL BY GOD AND THINK OF ALL THOSE THOUSANDS OF SOULS THAT ARE GOING TO BE IN HEAVEN WHO WERE ABORTED.].

10/27/2021 Pope To Visit Canada To Help Reconciliation Over Indigenous Schools Scandal by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller lay flowers at a memorial in honour
of victims, near the location of what is believed to be more than 200 unmarked burials sites of indigenous children who were
students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, during a visit to the Tk'emlups te Secweepemc community in Kamloops,
British Columbia, Canada, October 18, 2021. Picture taken October 18, 2021. Adam Scotti/Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has accepted an invitation to visit Canada, where he faces calls for him to apologise for the Catholic Church’s role in former schools for indigenous people where children were subjected to abuse, rape and malnutrition.
    The Vatican said in a statement on Wednesday that Canada’s bishops had formally invited him to make a visit which would be part of a “process of reconciliation” with indigenous peoples.
    It said Francis was willing and that a trip would take place on a date to be settled later.
    The recurring schools scandal broke out again in May with the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Indian Residential School in Kamloops in the Western Canadian province of British Columbia.
    The discovery at the school, which closed in 1978, reopened old wounds and brought fresh demands for accountability.
    Last June, a month after the Kamloops discovery, Francis said he was pained and called for respect for the rights and cultures of native peoples.    But he stopped short of the direct apology some Canadians had demanded.
    The Canadian bishops have acknowledged that grave abuses occurred and apologised in September.
    When he met the pope in 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked him to visit Canada to apologise on the ground.
    Since May, hundreds more unmarked burial sites have been found.
    The schools, whose stated aim was to assimilate indigenous children, operated between 1831 and 1996 and were run by a number of Christian denominations on behalf of the government.    The Catholic Church ran most of them.
    Under the system, about 150,000 children were forcibly separated from their homes.    Many were subjected to abuse, rape and malnutrition in what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 called “cultural genocide.”
    Francis was elected pope 17 years after the last schools were closed and has already apologised for the Church’s role in colonialism in the Americas.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

10/28/2021 New Gender Option Appears On U.S. Passports by OAN Newsroom
MIAMI – JUNE 22: A Passport Processing employee uses a stack of blank
passports to print a new one. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
    U.S. passports now have a new feature.    The State Department has made it an option for new passports to include a “Gender X” marker, allowing Americans to opt-out of the “Male” or “Female” option.
    Department Spokesman Ned Price said this is a way to “better serve all U.S. citizens regardless of their gender identity.”
    Price’s department has a record of serving Americans in places such as Afghanistan.    Intersex activist Dana Zzyym had the honor of being the first American to receive the special gender designation.
    “It’s kind of unbelievable that I got the first one,” Zzyym said.    “I’ve worked a long time to get this one.    Six years and a day through the federal court system.”
    However, Zzyym asserted this isn’t just a victory for intersex persons, but also a triumph for the entire intersectional community.
    “Whether it’s the Black community, or the Latino community, or the trans community.    We exist,” said Zzyym.    “We all should be allies together in the fight for rights.    Well, that is what it means to me and this is what this represents to me.”
    Members of the political left have often unfavorably compared the U.S. to more progressive countries, such as Sweden.    Although, Outright Action International Executive Director Maria Sjodin said the U.S. is a trailblazer on this front.
    “Many of the European countries that have seen themselves as leaders on LGBTIQ issues really have been leaders when it comes to maybe same-sex marriage and protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but they really haven’t been leaders on trans issues,” Sjodin said.
    According to Sjodin, America is an example for Europe to follow.    The new passports are an example of the Biden administration’s commitment to the trans community, marking yet another accomplishment for the White House.
[MORE ACTION FROM THE SODOM AND GOMORRAH CROWD AND GOD WILL GIVE THOSE WITH THE MARK OF THE BEAST A PASSPORT TO HELL AND THOSE WITHOUT IT A RAPTURE TO HEAVEN.].

10/29/2021 Biden Meets With Pope Francis At The Vatican by OAN Newsroom
US President Joe Biden, left, talks to Pope Francis as they meet at the Vatican, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. President
Joe Biden met with Pope Francis on Friday at the Vatican, where the world’s two most notable Roman Catholics plan
to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and poverty. The president takes pride in his Catholic faith,
using it as moral guidepost to shape many of his social and economic policies. (Vatican Media via AP)
    Joe Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday. According to the White House, the pair discussed climate change, poverty and the coronavirus pandemic.    Biden praised the Pope as “the most significant warrior for peace” that he’s ever met.
    “It was an honor to meet with Pope Francis again at the Vatican today,” he noted.    “I thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution.    And lauded his leadership in fighting the climate crisis and ending the pandemic.”
    The two also exchanged presents with the Pope gifting Biden a ceramic tile and papal documents.    Biden, on his part, gave the Pope a liturgical vestment from the 1930’s, which was held in the archives of his church.    He also gave the Pope a coin he said his late son Beau would want him to have.
    This was the fourth meeting ever between the Pope and Biden who’s the nation’s second-ever Catholic president.

10/29/2021 Biden Says Pope Thinks He Is A ‘Good Catholic,’ Further Fuelling U.S. Abortion Debate by Jeff Mason and Philip Pullella
Pope Francis meets U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden
at the Vatican, October 29, 2021. Vatican Media/¬via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday that Pope Francis told him he was a “good Catholic” who can receive communion, widening a gulf between Francis and conservative U.S. bishops who want to deny it because of Biden’s support for abortion rights.
    Biden and the pope held an unusually long 1 hour and 15 minute meeting at the Vatican as a debate raged back in the United States about the divisive issue.
    Asked if the topic of abortion came up, Biden said: “No it didn’t.    It came up — we just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion,” Biden told reporters.
    The president, who goes to weekly Mass regularly and keeps a picture of the pope behind his desk in the Oval Office, has said he is personally opposed to abortion but cannot impose his views as an elected leader.
    In June, a divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-bishops-vote-draft-communion-statement-that-may-rebuke-biden-abortion-views-2021-06-18 a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden.    They take up the issue again next month.
    But the pope’s comments to Biden, who disclosed them at the start of a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, may make it difficult for the bishops to follow through on their plans.
    Asked if he and the pope discussed the U.S. bishops, Biden said “that’s a private conversation.”     Biden’s most ardent critics in the U.S. Church hierarchy doubled down ahead of the visit.
    “Dear Pope Francis, you have boldly stated that abortion is ‘murder’.    Please challenge President Biden on this critical issue.    His persistent support of abortion is an embarrassment for the Church and a scandal to the world,” Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, said on Twitter before the meeting.
    After the meeting, Tobin tweeted: “I fear that the Church has lost its prophetic voice.    Where are the John the Baptists who will confront the Herods of our day?,” apparently comparing Biden to King Herod, who beheaded the preacher John for calling out the king’s sins
.
    Last month, the pope told reporters that abortion is “murder” https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/pope-says-abortion-is-murder-us-bishops-should-not-be-political-2021-09-15 but appeared to criticise U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than a pastoral way.
    “Communion is not a prize for the perfect. … Communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church,” the pope said, adding that bishops should use “compassion and tenderness” with Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.
    Since his election in 2013 as the first Latin American pope, Francis has said that while the Church should oppose abortion, the issue should not become an all-consuming battle in culture wars that detracts attention from matters such as immigration and poverty.
    Biden’s meeting with the pope came three days before the U.S. Supreme Court https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-hear-challenge-texas-abortion-ban-2021-10-22 hears the first of two major cases this year challenging a series of state laws backed by Biden’s rival Republicans limiting abortion rights.    Abortion opponents hope the court will overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade decision that legalised the procedure nationwide.
    Both the White House and Vatican statements made no reference to the abortion issue.
EXCEPTIONALLY LONG MEETING
    The White House said Biden thanked the pope for “his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution.”    iden also praised the pope’s “leadership in fighting the climate crisis, as well as his advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery.”
    The Vatican said the two discussed “care of the planet,” health care, the pandemic, refugees, migrants, and “the protection of human rights, including freedom of religion and conscience.”
    The Vatican said the private meeting lasted one hour and 15 minutes and then about another 15 minutes were spent for picture taking and the exchange of gifts in the presence of other members of the delegation, such as Biden’s wife, Jill.
    A meeting between the pope and former President Donald Trump in 2017 lasted about 30 minutes and one with Barrack Obama in 2014 lasted about 50 minutes.
    Biden gave the pope a coin sometimes awarded to soldiers and leaders and told him: “You are the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met.”
    A senior U.S. administration official said the two men discussed climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic at length.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Philip Pullella; Editing by Nick Macfie, Toby Chopra, Mark Potter and Daniel Wallis)

10/29/2021 South Korea’s Moon Meets Pope, Urges Him To Visit North Korea by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-Sook
at the Vatican, October 29, 2021. Vatican Media/¬Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Pope Francis on Friday, giving him a cross made from barbed wire from the peninsula’s demilitarized zone and again urging him to visit North Korea.
    Moon, who is Catholic, was in Rome for the G20 summit of world leaders.    He held private talks with the pope for about 25 minutes, the Vatican said.
    Moon’s office said the president, who will leave office in May, had told Francis that a papal visit to Pyongyang would help revive the peace process https://www.reuters.com/world/china/exclusive-north-south-korea-talks-over-summit-reopening-liaison-office-sources-2021-07-28 on the Korean Peninsula.
    “If you send me an invitation, I will gladly go to help you, for the sake of peace.    Aren’t you brothers who speak the same language?    I’m willing to go,” it quoted the pope as saying.
    The Vatican said in a statement that the two sides discussed “the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans” and the hope that “joint effort and good will may favour peace and development in the Korean peninsula, supported by solidarity and by fraternity.”
    When he met the pope in 2018, Moon relayed a verbal invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Francis for the pontiff to visit North Korea.
    Vatican officials said at the time that the pope, who has made many appeals for rapprochement between the two Koreas, would consider such a trip under certain conditions if it could help the cause of peace.
    North Korea’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion as long as it does not undermine the state.
    But beyond a handful of state-controlled places of worship – including a Catholic church in the capital Pyongyang – no open religious activity is allowed and the authorities have repeatedly jailed foreign missionaries.
    There is little information on how many of North Korea’s citizens are Catholic, or how they practice their faith.
    Negotiations between Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have been stalled amid efforts by both Koreas to develop increasingly sophisticated weapons     https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/nkorea-fired-unidentified-projectile-yonhap-citing-skorea-military-2021-09-15.
    North Korea last week confirmed it test-fired a new, smaller ballistic missile from a submarine.
(Additional reporting by Cynthia Kim in Seoul; Editing by Catherine Evans)

10/30/2021 Bidens Attend Mass In Rome, A Day After Meeting Pope Francis by Jeff Mason
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with a member of the clergy after attending St. Patrick's Church
during a break in the G20 summit in Rome, Italy, October 30, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    ROME (Reuters) – Joe Biden and his wife Jill attended Mass on Saturday evening in the American church of Rome, a day after the U.S. president met Pope Francis and said later that the pontiff had told him he is a “good Catholic” who can receive communion.
    That statement widened a gulf between Francis and conservative U.S. bishops who want to deny him the right to receive communion because of Biden’s support for abortion rights.
    A person inside the church on Saturday told Reuters the president took communion.
    Biden regularly attends Mass in Washington, D.C., either on Saturday night or Sunday.    In Rome, where he was taking part in a summit of the G20 world’s richest nations, he attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, near the U.S. Embassy.
    Catholics can attend Mass on Saturday night to fulfil their Sunday obligation.
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is also Catholic, attended Mass in the same church earlier this month but had to leave early because of a security threat connected with people protesting in a nearby square against coronavirus vaccinations.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry)

10/30/2021 Pope Francis Agrees To Make First Papal Visit To India Since 1999 by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis meets with India's Prime Minister Modi at the Vatican.
October 30, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has accepted an invitation from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit, in a turnaround in relations with the Vatican following the failure of negotiations for a papal trip to the predominantly Hindu nation in 2017.
    There are about 20 million Roman Catholics in India, about 1.5% of the population of 1.3 billion. Some 80% of India’s people are Hindu.
    In 2016, Francis said he was “almost sure” of visiting India the following year along with Bangladesh.    But Indian Catholic Church leaders failed to convince Modi, who heads a nationalist administration, to invite him.
    The last pope to visit India was John Paul II, who went to New Delhi in 1999 to issue a papal document on the Church in Asia.
    “Had a very warm meeting with Pope Francis.    I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him and also invited him to visit India,” Modi said on Twitter on Saturday.
    The Indian Foreign Ministry said the invitation was for the pope “to visit India at an early date, which was accepted with pleasure.”
    A Vatican statement gave no details of the meeting between Francis and Modi, the first between a pope and an Indian prime minister in more than two decades.    Modi is in Rome to attend the G20 summit of the world’s richest countries.
    At the time the 2017 visit fell through, Church officials said the Indian government had cited scheduling problems for the prime minister. Francis visited Myanmar and Bangladesh instead.
    The last Indian prime minister to meet a pope was Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who met John Paul II at the Vatican in 2000.
    The Indian Foreign Ministry said Modi and Francis also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
(Additional reporting by Euan Rocha in New Delhi; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Helen Popper)

10/31/2021 Biden Receives Communion At Rome Mass, A Day After Meeting Pope by Jeff Mason
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with a member of the clergy after attending St. Patrick's Church
during a break in the G20 summit in Rome, Italy, October 30, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    ROME (Reuters) – Joe Biden received communion while attending Mass on Saturday evening in the American church of Rome, a day after the U.S. president met Pope Francis and said later that the pontiff had told him he is a “good Catholic” who can receive the sacrament.
    The Mass and Biden’s statement beforehand widened a gulf between Francis and conservative U.S. bishops who want to deny him the right to receive communion because of Biden’s support for abortion rights.
    A person inside the church on Saturday told Reuters the president, who attended the Mass sitting in the back of the church with his wife Jill, received communion.
    Biden regularly attends Mass and receives communion in Washington, where the local archbishop, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, has not made any moves to stop him.
    Biden, the second Catholic U.S. president, has said he personally opposes to abortion but, as an elected official, cannot impose his views on others.
    In Rome, where he was taking part in a summit of the G20 world’s richest nations, he attended the Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, near the U.S. Embassy.
    Pope Francis is also the bishop of Rome, so Biden went to Mass and received communion in his archdiocese.
    Catholics can attend Mass on Saturday night to fulfil their Sunday obligation.
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is also Catholic, attended Mass in the same church earlier this month but had to leave early because of a security threat connected with people protesting in a nearby square against coronavirus vaccinations.
    Pelosi goes to Mass in Washington but the archbishop in her home city of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has said public figures who support abortion should be denied communion in his archdiocese and has urged Catholics to pray for Pelosi’s “conversion of heart.”
    Last month the pope, asked about the U.S. communion debate, told reporters abortion is “murder,” even soon after conception, but appeared to criticise U.S. bishops for dealing with the issue in a political rather than pastoral way.
    “Communion is not a prize for the perfect,” the pope said.    “Communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church.”
    In June, a divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden.    They take up the issue again next month.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry and William Mallard)
[THE POPE COPPED OUT AND SAID JOE WAS A GOOD CATHOLIC EVEN THOSE HE BELIEVES ITS OKAY TO KILL UNBORN BABIES WHICH MOST AMERICANS CALL THAT BABY KILLERS AND THE ABOVE ARTICLE LETS YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE TWO CATHOLIC CHURCHES AND YOUR CHOICE OF EITHER MAY MEAN YOUR FUTURE OF YOUR SOUL.].

11/1/2021 Church Of England Leader Apologises For Comparing Climate Change To Rise Of Nazis
FILE PHOTO: The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby looks on during the funeral
of Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, who died at the age of 99, at
St George's Chapel, in Windsor, Britain, April 17, 2021. Yui Mok/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby apologised on Monday after saying world leaders who fail to act on climate change could be making a bigger mistake than their predecessors who ignored warnings about the rise of the Nazis.
    Welby, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion of about 85 million Christians, speaking at the start of the climate change summit in Scotland said he was sorry for the offence caused to Jews by his comments.
    “I unequivocally apologise for the words I used when trying to emphasise the gravity of the situation facing us at COP26,” Welby said on Twitter.    “It’s never right to make comparisons with the atrocities brought by the Nazis.”
    The U.N. summit https://www.reuters.com/business/cop critical to averting the most disastrous effects of climate change opened on Monday, with world leaders, environmental experts and activists pleading for decisive action to halt global warming.
    Welby earlier told the BBC world leaders will be “cursed” if they fail to reach an agreement on climate change.
    “People will speak of them in far stronger terms than we speak … of the politicians who ignored what was happening in Nazi Germany because this will kill people all around the world for generations,” he said.
    “It will allow a genocide on an infinitely greater scale.    I’m not sure there’s grades of genocide, but there’s width of genocide, and this will be genocide indirectly, by negligence, recklessness.”
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Andrew Heavens)
[WELL I AM NOT FOR WELBY DEMANDS BUT MOST OF US KNOW THE REAL THREAT IS THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN FORCES THAT ARE DEFINITELY IN THE WORLD ARE ABOUT TO BE MORE OF A THREAT THAN CLIMATE CHANGE OR BYGONE NAZIS TO CHRISTIANS OF THIS WORLD.].

11/2/2021 Pope, At Military Cemetery, Tells Arms Manufacturers: ‘Stop!’ by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis passes graves, before a Mass at the U.S. World War II cemetery on the day Christians around the
world commemorate their dead, in Nettuno, near Rome, Italy, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
    ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis, in a visit to a military cemetery on the day Catholics remember their dead, on Tuesday urged arms manufacturers to “stop,” because war “swallows up the children of the homeland.”
    On All Souls Day, Francis said a Mass at the French military cemetery in Rome, with its rows of white crosses the burial place of about 1,900 French and Moroccan soldiers killed in World War Two.
    Francis, who visits a cemetery each year on the day of remembrance, laid white roses and stopped to pray at some of the tombs and mentioned that one read “Unknown, Died for France, 1944.”
    “Not even a name. But in the heart of God there are all our names.    This is the tragedy of war,” he said in an improvised sermon.
    “I am sure that all of these who were called to defend the homeland and went with good will are with the Lord,” Francis said.
    “But … do we fight enough so that there are no wars, so that there are no economies of countries that are strengthened by the weapons industry?” he said.
    “These tombs are a message of peace. Stop brothers and sisters, stop.    Stop, arms manufacturers, stop!” he said, calling those buried at the cemetery among the many “victims of war, which swallows up the children of the homeland.”
    Francis has made many calls for disarmament and has said that nuclear weapons should be banned because even their possession for deterrent reasons is “perverse” and indefensible.
    When the location of the Mass was announced last month, an Italian group protested, saying the choice was an offence to victims of Moroccan soldiers, known as Goumiers, an auxiliary unit of the French military when France was still the colonial power.
    They committed many random murders and raped many Italian women in the countryside between Naples and Rome as allied forces moved up the Italian peninsula.
    One such incident was immortalized in the 1960 neo-realist film by Vittorio De Sica “Two Women,” starring Sophia Loren, which told the story of a woman and her daughter who were both raped by Moroccan soldiers south of Rome.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by William Maclean and Giles Elgood)
[YES POPE WAR IS HELL AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT ALL THE ABORTED BABIES DEATHS AND SOULS WHO WILL BE SEEN AT REVELATION 6:11 "And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.".].

11/3/2021 Roman Catholic Nun Speaks Out Against Texas Law Banning Religious Prayer Aloud During Death Row Executions by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – MARCH 20: Morning light shines outside The United States Supreme Court
building on March 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
    A Catholic nun is speaking out against a Texas law banning religious or spiritual advisers from touching death row inmates or praying aloud during executions.
    In a recent interview, Sister Barbara Bautista argued the law is adding insult to injury by denying inmates the comfort of a clergy person by their side.    Bautista has signed onto a legal brief to the Supreme Court in support of a challenge to the statute, which the high court will consider later this month.
    The challenge revolves around John Henry Ramirez, whose attorneys have argued is being deprived of his First Amendment right to practice his religion.    “It is hostile toward religion, denying religious exercise at the precise moment it is most needed: when someone is transitioning from this life to the next,” said Seth Kretzer, Ramirez’ lawyer.
This undated photo provided by The Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows
John Henry Ramirez. Ramirez. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)
    “I hope that if the state still is going to execute Mr. Ramirez, that at the very least that he be allowed his clergy person in the room, in the death chamber, he be allowed to pray out loud with him and that clergy person be allowed to actually physically touch Mr. Ramirez, to give him some human contact before he takes his last breath,” requested Bautista.
    Ramirez’ execution and a few others have been put on hold while the Supreme Court considers his challenge to the policy.

11/4/2021 Italian Nun Becomes Highest Ranking Woman In Vatican by Philip Pullella
Sister Raffaella Petrini (L) looks on during a mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, in this
undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on November 4, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has for the first time named a woman to the number two position in the governorship of Vatican City, making her the highest-ranking woman in the world’s smallest state.     The appointment on Thursday of Sister Raffaella Petrini, a 52-year-old Italian nun, is the latest in which the 84-year-old pope has placed a woman in a leadership role.
    Petrini’s new position of secretary general of the Governatorate of the State of Vatican City is comparable to being deputy governor of a state or deputy mayor of a city.    The Governatorate, based in a large palace in the middle of Vatican City, oversees more than 2,000 employees.
    The appointment of Petrini, who has a degree from LUISS, a prestigious Italian business university, marks the latest attempt by the pope to keep promises to improve gender balance made years ago but which women’s groups have said were too slow in being realised.
    The Governatorate oversees the daily workings of Vatican City, including departments such as its police, firefighters, health service, museums, maintenance and office staff.
    The previous holder of the post of secretary general is a bishop.    He is now in the presidency, the top post.
    A number of other women already hold number two posts in Vatican departments but they deal with religious and social issues and have much smaller staff levels.
    In August the pope named Italian nun Sister Alessandra Smerilli to the interim position of secretary of the Vatican’s development office, which deals with justice and peace issues.
    In February he named Nathalie Becquart, a French member of the Xaviere Missionary Sisters, as co-undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, a department that prepares major meetings of world bishops held every few years.
    Also in February, he named Italian magistrate Catia Summaria as the first woman Promoter of Justice in the Vatican’s Court of Appeals.
    He has also appointed six women to senior roles in the council that oversees Vatican finances and women to the posts of deputy foreign minister, director of the Vatican Museums and deputy head of the Vatican Press Office.
    Francis has said he sees no reason why a woman should not hold a top post apart from those that for doctrinal reasons are open only to ordained priests.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

11/5/2021 Death Of Pregnant Woman Ignites Debate About Abortion Ban In Poland by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Kacper Pempel
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators takes part in a protest against the verdict restricting abortion
rights in Warsaw, Poland, January 29, 2021. REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo
    WARSAW (Reuters) – The death of a pregnant Polish woman has reignited debate over abortion in one of Europe’s most devoutly Catholic countries, with activists saying she could still be alive if it were not for a near total ban on terminating pregnancies.
    Tens of thousands of Poles took to the streets to protest in January this year when a Constitutional Tribunal ruling from October 2020 that terminating pregnancies with foetal defects was unconstitutional came into effect, eliminating the most frequently used case for legal abortion.
    Activists say Izabela, a 30-year-old woman in the 22nd week of pregnancy who her family said died of septic shock after doctors waited for her unborn baby’s heart to stop beating, is the first woman to die as a result of the ruling.
    The government says the ruling was not to blame for her death, rather an error by doctors.
    Izabela went to hospital in September after her waters broke, her family said. Scans had previously shown numerous defects in the foetus.
    “The baby weighs 485 grams.    For now, thanks to the abortion law, I have to lie down.    And there is nothing they can do.    They’ll wait until it dies or something begins, and if not, I can expect sepsis,” Izabela said in a text message to her mother, private broadcaster TVN24 reported.
    When a scan showed the foetus was dead, doctors at the hospital in Pszczyna, southern Poland, decided to perform a Caesarean.    The family’s lawyer, Jolanta Budzowska, said Izabela’s heart stopped on the way to the operating theatre and she died despite efforts to resuscitate her.
    “I couldn’t believe it, I thought it wasn’t true,” Izabela’s mother Barbara told TVN24.    “How could such a thing happen to her in the hospital?    After all, she went there for help.”
    Budzowska has started legal action over the treatment Izabela received, accusing doctors of malpractice, but she also called the death “a consequence of the verdict.”
    In a statement on its website, the Pszczyna County Hospital said it shared the pain of all those affected by Izabela’s death, especially her family.
    “It should … be emphasised that all medical decisions were made taking into account the legal provisions and standards of conduct in force in Poland,” the hospital said.
    On Friday, the hospital said it had suspended two doctors who were on duty at the time of the death.
    The Supreme Medical Chamber, which represents Polish doctors, said it was not immediately able to comment.
NOT ONE MORE
    When the case came to public attention as a result of a tweet from Budzowska, the hashtag #anijednejwiecej or ‘not one more’ spread across social media and was taken up by protesters demanding a change to the law.
    However, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party rejects claims that the Constitutional Tribunal ruling was to blame for Izabela’s death, attributing it to a mistake by doctors.
    “When it comes to the life and health of the mother … if it is in danger, then terminating the pregnancy is possible and the ruling does not change anything,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday.
    PiS lawmaker Bartlomiej Wroblewski told Reuters that the case should not be “instrumentalised and used to limit the right to life, to kill all sick or disabled children.”
    But activists say the ruling has made doctors scared to terminate pregnancies even when the mother’s life is at risk.
    “Izabela’s case clearly shows that the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal has had a chilling effect on doctors,” Urszula Grycuk of the Federation for Women and Family Planning told Reuters.
    “Even a condition that should not be questioned – the life and health of the mother – is not always recognised by doctors because they are afraid.”
    In Ireland, the death of 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar in 2012 after she was refused a termination provoked a national outpouring of grief credited by many as a catalyst for the liberalisation of abortion laws.
    Budzowska told Reuters that a debate similar to the one that took place in Ireland was underway in Poland.
    “Both Izabela’s family and I personally hope that this case … will lead to a change in the law in Poland,” she said.
    Poland’s president proposed changing the law last year to make abortions possible in cases where the foetus was not viable.    The Law and Justice dominated parliament has yet to debate the bill.
(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Kacper Pempel; Additional reporting by Anna Koper; Writing by Alan Charlish; Editing by Giles Elgood)

11/5/2021 Pope: Church, shamed by sex abuse, must better protect kids
    VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Thursday called on all those who work with children, starting from the scandal- stained Catholic Church, to join together in an alliance to better prevent sexual and other abuse of minors.    In a message to a conference in Rome about keeping children safe, Francis said the church’s own efforts are driven by “the sorrow and the shame for not having always been good custodians in protecting minors.”    Pedophile priests have easy access to children in parishes, schools and Catholic after-school programs.

11/5/2021 Vatican Confirms December Pope Trip To Cyprus And Greece by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis arrives to attend the meeting for the ecumenical pilgrimage to Rome, at the
Paul VI Audience Hall, in the Vatican, October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican on Friday officially announced that Pope Francis will visit Cyprus and Greece, including the island of Lesbos that hosts many foreign migrants, on Dec. 2-6, confirming a Reuters report last month.
    The announcement of the trip was further confirmation that the 84-year old pope has fully recovered from intestinal surgery in July.    It was made as he was paying a visit to thank staff at the hospital where he was operated on.
    The Vatican announced the trip but did not issue a full programme.
    Francis will stay in the Cypriot capital Nicosia Dec. 2-4, his first visit to the ethnically split Mediterranean island.
    Cyprus’s internationally recognised government is run by Greek Cypriots, while a breakaway administration in the north is recognised only by Turkey.
    Francis will be in Greece Dec. 4-6, most of the time in Athens.
    A Vatican source told Reuters last month the visit to the Greek island of Lesbos would be on Dec. 5.
    Francis visited the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos in 2016 and returned with a dozen Syrian refugees.
    Moria camp was destroyed by a fire last year and replaced with another camp called Mavrovouni.
    Francis visited the Gemelli hospital earlier on Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of its medical school.
    “It is good to kindle our memory with those who loved us, cured us, lifted us up,” he said in the homily of an outdoor Mass for several hundred staff, referring to his hospital stay.
    Francis was in the Gemelli for 11 days in July during which he underwent surgery to remove part of his colon, which had narrowed.    It was the first time he had been hospitalised since his election in 2013.
    The medical school said it would mark the visit by sending medicines needed for emergency treatment to Lebanon, Syria and Sudan.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry)

11/8/2021 French Catholics Agree To Sell Property To Compensate Abuse Victims
FILE PHOTO: A Christian Catholic cross is silhouetted in Saint-Fiacre-sur-Maine
near Nantes, France, October 5, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Catholic Church said on Monday it would sell real estate and, if needed, take out loans to set up a fund to compensate thousands of people sexually abused by clergy.
    A major investigation found in October that French clerics sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.
    Senior clergy meeting in the holy site of Lourdes had recognised their Church’s “institutional responsibility” and decided “to go on a path of recognition and reparation,” France’s top bishop, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, said.
    Bishops would set up a fund “financed to whatever extent necessary through the divestment of real estate and other assets,” de Moulins-Beaufort, archbishop of Reims and the head of the French Bishops’ conference, told journalists.
    “If needed, we are also prepared to take on loans in order to fulfil our obligations,” he added at the end of the meeting.    He gave no details on the size of the fund or what property might be sold.
    The October report found that the French church had shown “deep, total and even cruel indifference for years,” protecting itself rather than the victims of what was systemic abuse.
    At the time, Pope Francis called the findings – the latest revelations to rock the Roman Catholic Church after a series of sexual abuse scandals around the world – “a moment of shame.”
    Several clergy were seen falling to their knees in acts of penance during the meetings over the weekend in Lourdes.
    De Moulins-Beaufort said the bishops had also decided to ask the Pope to send them special envoys to supervise each bishop’s and diocese’s handling of individual abuse cases.
(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

11/10/2021 MTV Show Offers Beacon Of Hope For Hungary’s Harassed LGBTQ Community by Krisztina Fenyo
Drag queen Elona Musk performs during the reopening of a LGBTQ bar in Budapest,
Hungary, November 5, 2021. Picture taken November 5, 2021. REUTERS/Marton Monus
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hostility towards homosexuals and transsexuals has increased in Hungary since the government passed a law that critics have labelled anti-gay, say patrons and performers at Budapest’s leading LGBTQ bar.
    But a high-profile gesture of solidarity with that community from broadcaster MTV, in confirming after the law came into effect in July that it would hold its Europe Music Awards in the city on Sunday, offers some hope.
    “I am just existing, I am just being myself,” said an artist known as Victoria Rose after performing her vogue dance at the Crush Bar on Friday night, adding that MTV’s show could help reshape public attitudes.
    “I am grateful and thankful… because visibility is going to make this thing a little bit more clear to people in general.”
    The law, which has been strongly criticised by human rights groups and other EU leaders, bans the dissemination of content in schools deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change.
    Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has stepped up campaigning for what is predicted to be his first tight election race next year in more than a decade, has said the law was not aimed at homosexuals but was about protecting children.br>     Zsanett Szoke, a transvestite in her 40s, said after watching a show in the bar that the legislation had entrenched negative attitudes towards LGBTQ people, and she had experienced more verbal attacks in the street than before.
    “One can live with this, but I can clearly feel that things are moving to a direction that people have become more critical of us,” she said.    “…Those who had been negative towards the whole LGBT+ thing have now been let free to say what they like.”
    MTV, which is part of ViacomCBS, confirmed last month it would host the event in Budapest as planned.
    In a memo to staff, MTV Entertainment Group Worldwide Chief Executive Chris McCarthy, said the show should serve “as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Hungary and around the world as we continue to fight for equality for all.”
(Writing by Krisztina Than; editing by John Stonestreet)

11/11/2021 Ghana Parliament Begins Public Hearings On Anti-LGBT+ Law
FILE PHOTO: People who were detained by police on suspicion of promoting an LGBT+ agenda
at an unlawful assembly are escorted by police officers out the court after their bail
hearing at the Ho court in Ho, Volta Region-Ghana June 4, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko
    ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s parliament on Thursday will hold its first public hearing on a new law that would make it illegal to be gay or to advocate for gay rights, its press office said.
    The so-called family values bill is currently before the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which said it had received more than 150 memoranda from individuals, groups and faith-based organizations on the bill.
    The committee is expected to hear 10 petitions each week in a series of public sessions before the bill is put to a vote, deputy majority leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin said.
    Gay sex is already punishable by prison time in Ghana, but no one has been prosecuted in years.    The new bill would go much further, criminalising the promotion and funding of LGBT+ activities as well as public displays of affection, cross-dressing and more.
    Ghana’s speaker of parliament, Alban Bagbin, pledged in his opening address last month that parliament would pass the bill into law “at the earliest possible time.”br>     U.N. human rights experts have urged lawmakers to reject it, saying it would establish a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence against sexual minorities.
    LGBT+ rights groups in Ghana said they have seen a spike in homophobic attacks since the draft law was introduced in August.
    Arbitrary arrests, blackmail and evictions have more than doubled since then, with people targeted if they are suspected of being gay, said Danny Bediako, director of the human rights organisation Rightify Ghana.
    “Our greatest worry is the health and safety of our community members,” he told Reuters.    “I have never seen so many people who want to leave the country.”
    The bill has been promoted by conservative Christian groups in Ghana, which has become a hot spot for the debate on LGBT+ rights in Africa.
    The United States-based World Congress of Families (WCF), a group that works to advance anti-gay laws and policies around the world, held a major regional conference in Ghana’s capital Accra in 2019.
(Reporting by Christian Akorlie; Additional reporting and writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Bate Felix and Steve Orlofsky)

11/11/2021 Portugal’s Catholic Bishops Announce Independent Child Sexual Abuse Commission by Catarina Demony and Sergio Goncalves
FILE PHOTO: Members of the clergy take part in a procession during the 104th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin Mary to
three shepherd children at the Catholic shrine of Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File Photo
    LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s Roman Catholic Church said on Thursday it would create an independent commission to investigate historical child sexual abuse allegedly committed by members of the clergy following pressure from prominent congregants to lift a veil of silence around the issue.
    Portugal’s Bishops’ Conference said in a statement that it decided to create the commission to improve the way cases are handled and to “carry out a study to clarify the history of this serious issue.”
    The announcement comes after a major report https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/report-finds-216000-children-were-victims-french-clergy-sex-abuse-since-1950-2021-10-05 by an independent commission in France revealed last month that around 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/frances-investigation-into-its-catholic-church-sex-abuse-crisis-2021-10-04 more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.
    It was the latest blow for the Roman Catholic Church, which has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.
    In Portugal, more than 200 Catholics sent a letter to the Bishops’ Conference earlier this month urging them to launch an investigation similar to France’s, arguing that child sexual abuse was a “systemic” problem “directly related the exercise of power” within the church.
    The signatories of the letter said that over the last decade “just over 10 cases” of sexual abuse of children by clergy members have been reported in the country but warned the number was likely to be significantly higher.
    Currently, bishops in each of Portugal’s 21 dioceses are responsible for investigating alleged wrongdoing committed by clergy members but there is no overarching supervisory body.
    In June, Pope Francis issued the most extensive revision to Catholic Church law https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/pope-revises-church-law-expands-rules-sexual-abuse-2021-06-01 in four decades, insisting that bishops take action against clerics who abuse minors and vulnerable adults.
    Commission members are yet to be nominated, the bishop of the city of Setubal, Jose Ornelas, told a news conference on Monday, adding that the commission and members of the investigative body would have “independence to create their own processes and methodology.”
    “We are not afraid, quite the contrary,” he said.
    The letter to bishops, whose signatories included lawmakers, writers and other public figures, said the commission should include believers and nonbelievers, as well as experts in social science and justice.
    The time span to be covered by the commission’s investigations is not yet clear but the letter’s signatories suggested it should cover five decades.
(Reporting by Catarina Demony and Sérgio Gonçalves in Lisbon; Editing by Aislinn Laing and Matthew Lewis)

11/12/2021 World Has Become Deaf To Plight Of The Poor, Pope Says In Assisi by Yara Nadi and Philip Pullella
Pope Francis arrives to meet people who have made a pilgrimage to the Assisi, during a private
visit, ahead of World Day of the Poor, in Assisi, Italy, November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ASSISI, Italy (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Friday that the world had become deaf to the plight of the poor and condemned those who become disproportionately rich while blaming the needy for their own fate.
    Francis travelled to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, to meet with about 500 poor people before the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Poor which will be marked on Sunday.
    “Often the presence of the poor is seen as being annoying and something to be tolerated.    Sometimes we hear it said that those responsible for poverty are the poor themselves,” he said in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels after poor people, including Afghan refugees, recounted their personal stories.
    “The blame is dumped on the shoulders of the poor, adding insult to injury, so as not to make a serious examination of conscience about one’s own actions, about the injustice of some laws and economic measures, about the hypocrisy of those who want to enrich themselves disproportionately,” he said.
    Francis, who in 2013 became the first Latin American pope, has made defence of the poor a cornerstone of his pontificate.    The former Cardinal Mario Bergoglio is the first pope to take the name Francis, the saint who dedicated most of his life to the poor.
    “It is time to give a voice back to the poor because their requests have fallen on deaf ears for too long.    It is time for eyes to open to see the state of inequality in which so many families live,” Francis said.
    “It is time to again be scandalised by the reality of children who are starving, reduced to slavery, tossed around by the waters as they risk drowning, innocent victims of all kinds of violence,” he said.br>     He called for the creation of more jobs and an end to violence against women “so they are respected and not treated as merchandise.”
    Qadery Abdul Razaq, an elderly man who fled Afghanistan with his wife after the fall of Kabul because they had worked for the Italian military, broke down into tears as he told the pope how the Taliban had killed one of his sons.
    He asked for help from the pope and the Italian government to get his four remaining children out of the country.
(Philip Pullella reported from Rome; editing by Andrei Khalip)

11/13/2021 Pope Thanks Journalists For Helping Expose Church Sex Scandals
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with people who have made a
pilgrimage to the Assisi, during a private visit, ahead of World Day of the Poor,
at Santa Maria degli Angeli basilica, in Assisi, Italy, November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday thanked journalists for helping uncover the clerical sexual abuse scandals that the Roman Catholic Church initially tried to cover up.
    The pope praised what he called the “mission” of journalism and said it was vital for reporters to get out of their newsrooms and discover what was happening in the outside world to counter misinformation often found online.
    “(I) thank you for what you tell us about what is wrong in the Church, for helping us not to sweep it under the carpet, and for the voice you have given to the abuse victims,” the pope said.
    Francis was speaking at a ceremony to honour two veteran correspondents — Philip Pullella of Reuters and Valentina Alazraki of Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa — for their long careers spent covering the Vatican.
    The sexual abuse scandals hit the headlines in 2002, when U.S. daily The Boston Globe wrote a series of articles exposing a pattern of abuse of minors by clerics and a widespread culture of concealment within the Church.
    Since then, scandals have rocked the Church in myriad countries, most recently France where a major investigation found in October that French clerics had sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.
    Critics accused Francis of responding too slowly to the scandals after he became Pontiff in 2013 and of believing the word of his fellow clergy over that of the abuse victims.
    But in 2018 he tried to address past mistakes, publicly admitting he was wrong about a case in Chile and vowing that the Church would never again seek to cover up such wrongdoing.    In 2019 he called for an “all-out battle” against a crime that should be “erased from the face of the earth."
    Francis on Saturday said journalists had a mission “to explain the world, to make it less obscure, to make those who live in it less fear it.”
    To do that, he said reporters needed to “escape the tyranny” of always being online.    “Not everything can be told through email, the phone, or a screen,” he said.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Frances Kerry)

11/15/2021 LGBTQ community isn’t waiting for Equality Act to pass - Advocates establish their own safe and welcoming spaces by Claire Thornton, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – When driving home to see family, Rachel Pike bases the six-hour trip to Madison, Ohio, on which gas station convenience stores have single-stall restrooms with doors facing the outside of the building.    That way, Pike can avoid uncomfortable glances and tense encounters with people who think they’re in the wrong bathroom.
    “It is shocking to people who don’t live like this,” said Pike, who is genderqueer and uses the gender-neutral pronoun “they.”    “Using a restroom shouldn’t have to be so scary.”
    President Joe Biden vowed that enacting the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in public accommodations such as stores and restaurants, would be a top priority in his 100 days in the White House.    That deadline is long gone, and the Equality Act languishes in the Senate despite support from the majority of Americans.
    LGBTQ advocates said they don’t have a choice but to try to create safe places for their community on their own, without the help lawmakers promised.
    Through community building and political organizing, LGBTQ advocates try to make public spaces, schools and federally funded programs, such as day care, safer and more accessible for their communities, which increasingly include people who are transgender or nonbinary.
    “We want to be able to hang out with people that are different from us and the same as us and just be safe.”    Rachel Pike, on plans for bar called As You Are.
Rachel Pike, left, and Jo McDaniel plan to open a bar that respects
identities in Washington, D.C. - CLAIRE THORNTON/USA TODAY

11/17/2021 Defence At Vatican Trial Want Access To Pope Comments To Investigators by Philip Pullella
A Vatican trial of 10 people accused of financial crimes, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu, resumes after a chief
judge ordered the prosecution to give the defence more access to evidence and to question defendants who were not
given the right to speak earlier, at the Vatican, November 17, 2021. Vatican Media/¬Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Defence lawyers at a corruption trial related to the Vatican’s purchase of a luxury building in London on Wednesday demanded that the prosecution share the contents of its conversations with Pope Francis.
    The fourth hearing of the trial of six defendants, including a cardinal, centred around defence demands for more access to evidence held by the prosecution and explanations for what the defence says are discrepancies, omissions and lapses in video tapes of interrogations.
    Lawyer Luigi Panella accused the prosecution of hiding details of an interrogation while questioning Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, a former Vatican official who was first a suspect and then a star witness for the prosecution.
    Panella said a video of the interrogation showed that Perlasca “looked shocked” when investigators told him that his answers did not coincide with what the pope had told them.
    Panella said the prosecutions’ conversations with the pope, including when he gave permission to proceed with a raid on Vatican offices on Oct. 1, 2019, should be submitted as evidence and made available to the defence.
    The prosecution said that during Perlasca’s questioning, it was not referring to private conversations but to comments the pope had made publicly to reporters about the investigation.
    The trial was adjourned until Dec. 1.
    The trial revolves mostly around the purchase by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of a commercial and residential building at 60 Sloane Avenue in London’s South Kensington, one of the wealthiest districts in the British capital.
    It started in July with 10 defendants but four were later removed while the investigation of their alleged activities continues.    They may be tried separately.
    Perlasca is the main witness in the case against the most prominent defendant, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a once powerful Vatican official. He was the only defendant present on Wednesday in the makeshift courtroom in the Vatican Museums.    The trial is being held there the usual courthouse is too small to comply with COVID restrictions.
    The prosecution has accused Becciu, other former Vatican officials or employees and outside middlemen involved in the deal of embezzlement, abuse of office, and fraud, among other charges. They all have denied wrongdoing.
    The Secretariat of State sank more than 350 million euros into the London investment, according to Vatican media, and suffered what Cardinal George Pell, an ex-Vatican treasurer, told Reuters last year were “enormous losses.”
    The Vatican is in the final stages of selling the building.
(This story has been refiled to fix typo in paragraph 2)
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Giles Elgood)

11/17/2021 Swiss To Allow Same-Sex Weddings From July 2021
FILE PHOTO: Same-sex couples can wed in Switzerland from July 1 next year, the government said on Nov. 17, 2021,
enacting the results of a ground-breaking referendum in September. A flag is pictured before the vote on same-sex marriage
in Bern, Switzerland, September 8, 2021. Flag reads: "Yes, I will". REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    ZURICH (Reuters) – Same-sex couples can wed in Switzerland from July 1 next year, the government said on Wednesday, enacting the results of a ground-breaking referendum on the issue in September.
    Voters approved the Marriage for All” initiative by a nearly two-thirds majority, making Switzerland one of the last countries in Western Europe to legalise gay marriage.
    In a two-stage process, same-sex couples who have married abroad will have their status recognised from the start of January.    Previously, the couples were seen as a registered partnership in Switzerland.
    The new law will enter force six months later, which means couples will be allowed to marry or convert their registered partnership from July 1, 2022.
    Preparations for the marriage can be submitted before this date, the government added.    No more registered partnerships will be allowed after this date.
    Campaigners expect several hundred people to take advantage of the law change in the first year it comes into effect.
    “We are really happy with the outcome of the vote, and that it is now being put into law,” Maria von Kaenel, co-president of the Marriage for All campaign, said on Wednesday.
    “We have been fighting for marriage equality for 30 years and the referendum result was a historic moment.”
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

11/18/2021 U.S. Removes Nigeria From Religious Freedom List Ahead Of Blinken Visit by Simon Lewis
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks as he attends a civil society roundtable at
the Sankara Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, November 17, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington on Wednesday removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom concerns, just a day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in the country as part of a tour of Africa.
    The omission drew a sharp rebuke from a U.S. government commission that had recommended the Biden administration keep Nigeria as a so-called country of particular concern for engaging in or tolerating violations of religious freedom.
    Blinken made an annual announcement on Wednesday of the countries on the list, naming Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan as countries of particular concern.    He also placed Algeria, Comoros, Cuba and Nicaragua on a watch list for religious freedom, and designated armed groups, including Islamic State and several of its affiliates, as entities of concern.
    But Nigeria, which was added to the list for the first time in 2020, was not redesignated.
    Blinken is expected to arrive in Abuja on Thursday, where he is set to meet with officials including President Muhammadu Buhari and deliver a speech on U.S. Africa policy.
    The State Department did not respond to a request for comment, and it was unclear if the designation was related to the secretary’s travel.
    The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in April recommended that Nigeria remain on the list, citing “violence by militant Islamists and other non-state armed actors, as well as discrimination, arbitrary detentions, and capital blasphemy sentences by state authorities” in the country.
    The commission, which had also recommended that India, Syria and Vietnam be designated as countries of concern, said in a statement that it was “appalled” by the removal of Nigeria.
    “We urge the State Department to reconsider its designations based on facts presented in its own reporting,” Chair Nadine Maenza said, referring to the department’s report on international religious freedom in May, which cited religious freedom concerns in Nigeria.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Leslie Adler)

11/19/2021 Nicaragua Decree Demoting Vatican Ambassador Is Retaliation For Church Comments, Say Diplomats by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Apostolic Nuncio Monsignor Stanislaw Sommertag (C) speaks during a news
conference in Managua, Nicaragua March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) – A Nicaraguan presidential decree affecting the Holy See’s ambassador in the Central American country appears to be retaliation for comments made by the local Church leadership criticizing the government’s slide away from democracy, diplomats said on Friday.
    President Daniel Ortega’s decree this week stripped the Vatican’s ambassador in Managua, Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, of his title and role as dean of the diplomatic corps.
    In many countries of Catholic tradition, the dean’s position is held automatically by the Vatican envoy, known as a nuncio, regardless of how long he has been in the country.
    Sommertag, a 53-year-old Pole who has held the position since 2018, has openly supported the local Church in its position defending democracy in the country.
    The official Nicaraguan Gazette said the change revoking a previous agreement with the Vatican was made to comply with an article of the Vienna Convention of 1961 that Managua said calls for equal standing in the diplomatic corps.
    Rome-based diplomats, a Vatican source and a professor of diplomatic law said, however, that the convention did allow for an informal hierarchy in a diplomatic corps and that the government action appeared to be an excuse.
    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, they said the move appeared to be tied to the Church’s stand in defence of democracy in recent years and particularly in the run-up to the recent elections.
    “The timing of this is clear, coming almost two weeks after the elections.    It is a shot across the bow of the Church, it seems to be a warning and a punishment,” one diplomat said.
    The government could not be immediately reached for comment.
    Ortega, a Cold War-era former Marxist guerrilla leader who has held office since 2007, clinched a fourth consecutive term https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/nicaraguas-ortega-coasting-victory-after-contentious-election-2021-11-08 earlier this month after jailing political rivals ahead of elections that were widely condemned as not being free.
    In the run-up to the elections, Nicaragua’s Catholic bishops conference issued a statement that said the country was lacking “the basic and indispensable conditions in order to hold free, fair and transparent elections.”
    Before the election, the archdiocese of Managua issued a statement denouncing what it called the systematic violation of political and constitutional rights as well as “threats to the Catholic Church (and) offences against its priests and bishops.”
(Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

11/19/2021 Ugandan Trans Campaigner Wants Her Community Recognised In Next Census by Elias Biryabarema
Cleopatra Kambugu, 35, a Ugandan activist who advocates for sexual and gender minorities,
and the first transgender person to have her new gender recognised by the government,
is seen at her house in Kampala, Uganda November 7, 2021. REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa
    KAMPALA (Reuters) – Cleopatra Kambugu is a molecular biologist, the star of a Netflix documentary and a prominent social campaigner in Uganda.
    She was also assigned male at birth and became one of the first of a small number of Ugandans to have her gender identity officially changed.    Now, she wants Uganda to widen the options at its next census in 2023 to include the transgender community.
    “We don’t count transgender people on any document … gender is either male or female,” said 35-year-old Kambugu, her short floral dress swishing above black boots.
    “You are an afterthought … erased.    So can we address the generational, deliberate erasure?
    Kambugu hopes that by documenting the transgender community, it can have a greater voice and more security in a conservative nation where transgender people have no legal status and are often conflated with members of the gay community.
    Colonial-era laws banning gay sex remain and gay people have faced arrest, ostracism and violence.
    Fridah Mutesi, a lawyer who heads a firm that defends the rights of sexual minorities, said transgender people have been battered, disowned by their families, raped and banished from villages.    Most keep their identities a secret.
    Frank Mugabi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, declined to comment when asked whether a change to the census would be considered.
    Kambugu underwent hormonal therapy and sex change surgery in Thailand in 2015 and has since obtained a Ugandan passport and identity document that state her gender as female.
    Born into a family of 14 siblings, she says never felt comfortable with male identity and that a hormonal imbalance gave her female characteristics.    In her Netflix documentary, she said she struggled with issues like using a male bathroom or living in a male university hall.
    “There are so many times I wanted to commit suicide,” Kambugu said.    “I was alone.    I cannot imagine another person going through what I went through.”
    While a student, a tabloid newspaper published her name, saying she was gay.    The injustice, public stares and humiliating jokes pushed her to study for her masters in molecular biology to try to understand the roots of gender identity.
(Editing by Katharine Houreld and Nick Tattersall)

11/22/2021 No, America does not need ‘one religion’ by Flynn and Christian nationalism are wrong
    Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn caused a firestorm with his recent comments at the “Re-Awaken America Tour” in San Antonio.
    “If we are going to have one nation under God – which we must – we have to have one religion,” said Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was pardoned last November by then-President Donald Trump.
    Flynn followed the pattern of Christian nationalism by taking a biblical passage aimed at Christ’s disciples and applying it to the United States: “You have to believe this, that God Almighty is, like, involved in this country, because this is it. ... This is the shining city on the hill.”
    That the response to Flynn has been both swift and polarized is indicative of what I see as the “Great Sort” in American Christianity.    For the past decade, we have begun to see a transition in the rationale for how many self identifying Christians make decisions about their local church membership, relationships and serving.    While politics and culture have always played a significant role, in recent years we are beginning to see religious identity being primarily driven by broader political debates.
    Now, instead of Scripture, doctrine or worship providing a central role in church association and participation, political identity is in the driver’s seat.
Subverting Christianity
    Christians are increasingly sorting themselves into churches that reflect their ideology.    As opposing or moderate voices leave and new members are attracted by a political alignment, churches are becoming less politically diverse and more vocally partisan.
    This is not between patriotism versus Christianity.    Often maligned, patriotism can be good and noble.    Rather, this pits Christianity against Christian nationalism, a perversion of the faith that subverts its mission.
    The rhetoric of the ReAwaken tour reeks of such Christian nationalism.
    By identifying America as God’s chosen nation and calling for a religious establishment, Flynn and others offer a mission that is a distorted caricature of the one to which Christians are called.
    Christians and non-Christians should reflect on the genius of our political tradition of religious liberty.    Beginning with the Founders and proven throughout our history, providing people with freedom to believe and practice their faith strengthens our democracy, our communities and our institutions.    This is, in part, why the Baptist John Leland is a personal hero.    Standing for religious liberty in America’s early years when few others would, Leland argued, “All should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.”
    What Leland understood – and what many Christians today must relearn – is that when one faith is enforced or even preferred by the government, society loses.    When those of us who identify as Christians allow the government to pick whose freedoms are recognized, we undermine our own religious liberties.    It is a misnomer to think that protecting the rights of people to believe whatever they choose is a tacit endorsement of other faiths.    On the contrary, for Christians to stand for religious liberty is a statement of our confidence in the Gospel.
Follow Jesus
    Beyond the importance of religious liberty, any ideology that attempts to establish Christian political domination reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of Christ and the Christian faith.    At its core, the power is in its ability to transform the heart, not coerce behavior.    Jesus modeled this in his own ministry, refusing to set up a political theocracy on earth even as many expected the Messiah would do just that. Christ confounded these expectations and modeled an understanding of a kingdom “not of this world.” (John 18:36).
    Instead of power and domination, we find Christ modeling sacrifice and forgiveness.    When professing Christians are far more enthusiastic about the glory of America than proclaiming an ancient faith that transcends our nation, they reveal themselves to be at odds with this model.    Christians should embrace freedom of religion because we believe that the     Gospel is light in the darkness, hope for the lost, liberation for the captive and revival for the dead.    We believe that it is, most fundamentally, good news for a burdened and beleaguered world crying out for it.
    Flynn is right about this: God is at work in the USA.    Yet his vision of a reestablished church so sadly misses the point.    God’s involvement in this country, indeed his involvement in the whole world, will not come through coercion.
    After the ReAwaken rally chanted “Let’s go, Brandon” (a new stand-in for insulting President Joe Biden) in San Antonio, I finished up a message at the Galveston Convention Center to 1,500 Texas Christians also ready to say, “Let’s go.”    But in this case, I called them to go in the way of Jesus.
    One mission is the way of anger, conspiracies and more.    The other involves showing and sharing the love of Jesus to a broken and hurting world.
    Christians are going to have to choose which way is the way of Jesus.
    Ed Stetzer is a dean and professor at Wheaton College, where he leads the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.
Ed Stetzer
Wheaton College Billy Graham Center

11/23/2021 Chile’s Lower House Approves Same-Sex Marriage, Bill Sent Back To Senate
FILE PHOTO: People take part in the annual Gay Pride parade in support
of LGBT community, in Santiago, Chile, June 22, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
    SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s lower house approved on Tuesday a bill that would permit same-sex marriage in the South American country of 19 million, sending the measure back to the Senate where it appears to have the support needed to become law.     Chile has long had a conservative reputation, even compared to its deeply religious Latin American peers.    In the first round of its presidential election on Tuesday, a hard-right candidate who has praised aspects of dictator Augusto Pinochet’s legacy came out on top, and appears to have the momentum heading into a December runoff.
    Even so, Chile has shown signs of moving left on social and cultural issues in recent years, and a strong majority of Chileans now support same-sex marriage.
    Civil unions have been permitted in Chile since 2015, which affords same-sex partners many but not all the benefits of married couples, like the right to adoption.
    Among the changes that the lower house made was adopting more gender-neutral terminology, such as changing the words “husband” and “wife” to spouse.
    If the Senate approves the lower house version without changes, it will then go to Pinera.    If signed, as expected, it would then become law 90 days after the bill is published in the government’s official bulletin.
(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

11/25/2021 Australia Introduces Contentious Religious Anti-Discrimination Legislation by Renju Jose and Colin Packham
FILE PHOTO: Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks with the media following a day of meetings with
foreign counterparts at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
    SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia on Thursday introduced contentious religious anti-discrimination legislation to parliament that if approved would allow faith-based organisations to prioritise the hiring and enrolment of people from their faith.
    Religious freedom has been in the spotlight in Australia since same-sex marriage was legalised in 2017.
    In a move seen as targeting religious voters with an election just months away, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the legislation would protect people who express their religious faith outside of the workplace as long as it did not cause financial damage to their employer.
    “People should not be cancelled or persecuted or vilified because their beliefs are different from someone else’s,” said Morrison, a devout Pentecostal Christian, while introducing the bill in the parliament’s lower house.
    Morrison said the legislation would also protect Australians who make “statements of belief” from discrimination laws, but only if those statements do not “threaten, intimidate, harass or vilify a person or group
    Australia’s existing Sex Discrimination Act allows schools to expel students or sack teachers for being gay.    Morrison pledged in 2018 to reform the legislation.
    LGBT groups support reforming the Act but have criticised the new bill saying it would enable discrimination against gay students and teachers as it permits prioritising the hiring and enrolment of people based on faith.
    “It will wind back hard-fought protections for women, people with disability, LGBTIQ+ people, and even people of faith,” said Anna Brown, Chief Executive of the representative body, Equality Australia
.
    The bill has also divided the parliament, with some conservatives government lawmakers threatening to vote against the legislation until Morrison moves to abolish state mandates requiring COVID-19 vaccines.
    The legislation is expected to be put to a vote next week in the lower house, but it is far from guaranteed to pass into law.    The bill is expected to be reviewed before being voted on in the upper house Senate sometime in 2022-23.
    Australia’s parliament is in its last sitting fortnight for the year and Morrison could call an election before it resumes in 2022. Morrison must return to the polls by May 2022.
(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Michael Perry)

11/25/2021 Pope Promises To Help Moribund Lebanon Rise Again by Philip Pullella
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati walks with Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, as he arrives at the San Damaso
courtyard ahead of a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, meeting the prime minister of Lebanon, on Thursday compared the country to a dying person and promised to do everything in his power to help it “rise again.”
    Francis and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who took office in September after a year-long government vacuum, met privately for about 20 minutes and discussed the country’s devastating economic and social crisis, the Vatican said in a statement.
    The fallout from Lebanon’s financial collapse in 2019 has left swathes of the nation in poverty and foreign donors are demanding an audit of the central bank and financial reforms before they release funds.
    U.N. agencies have warned of social catastrophes, with one report saying that more than half of families in Lebanon had at least one child who skipped a meal amid a dramatic deterioration of living conditions.
    “Lebanon is a country, a message and even a promise worth fighting for,” Francis told the extended Lebanese delegation after the private meeting.
    He then referred to the Gospel story of Jairus in which Jesus raises up the man’s 12-year-old daughter, who was believed to be dead. Jesus told the parents she was only sleeping and the girl rose up when Jesus commanded.
    “I pray that the Lord will take Lebanon by the hand and say ‘arise’,” the pope said, adding that the country was going through a “very difficult, ugly period” of its history.
    “I assure you of my prayers, my closeness and promise to work diplomatically with countries so that they unite with Lebanon to help it rise again,” he said.
    The seemingly never-ending crisis has sunk Lebanon’s currency by more than 90%, caused poverty to skyrocket and led many Lebanese to emigrate.
    Mikati’s government was finally formed after a year of political conflict over cabinet seats that only worsened the crisis.
    In August, on the first anniversary of the huge chemical blast at Beirut port that killed 200 people and caused billions of dollars of damage, Francis promised to visit Lebanon as soon as the situation permitted.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alison Williams)

11/26/2021 Abortions may be rising after decades of decline by Mike Stobbe ASSOCIATED PRESS
    NEW YORK – U.S. abortions appear to be increasing after a long decline, though officials are cautious about calling it an upward trend because a government report issued Wednesday is incomplete.
    National abortion figures in 2017 reached their lowest level since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions.
    But the next two years, there were small increases in the abortion rate and numbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
    They rose 1% in 2018.    The next year, the numbers increased 2% and the rate per 1,000 women of child-bearing age rose 1%.
    The CDC report represents the latest available data on U.S. abortions.    But it must be interpreted cautiously because it is based on voluntary reporting and is not comprehensive, experts say.
    Among its limitations: It does not include abortions from three states, including California, the nation’s most populous state. Other states may have significant undercounts.
    Those omissions mean that as much as 30% of the nation’s abortions might not be captured in the CDC data, according to officials at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based nonprofit research organization that supports abortion rights. The group conducts a more comprehensive survey of all U.S. abortion providers every three years, and its next report is due out next year.
    Despite the CDC report’s limitations, it generally has painted a similar overall picture to what Guttmacher reports, said Rachel Jones, the lead researcher on that project.
    'Historically, the trends tend to be the same,' Jones said.
    The idea that abortions may be increasing lately may be surprising, especially given recent efforts in many states to restrict abortions.
    'If it means more people are getting access to care when they need it, than this is a positive development,' Jones said.
    An increase could be related to access and use of birth control, and it may even be tied to whether more people are having sex, she said.
    Overall, there were about 630,000 abortions reported to CDC in 2019.    The abortion rate was 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 years.    That year, 56% of the reported abortions were surgical and about 44% were through use of the so-called abortion pill.
    The report also showed about 18% of all pregnancies in the U.S. ended in abortion.
    Jones noted that it is hard to make general statements about U.S. abortion trends, because there can be dramatic differences from one state to the next.    And numbers in one state can increase if women are traveling there from other states.
    It’s not yet clear what abortion trends will look like for 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.    Some states, including Indiana, Iowa and Kansas, have reported increases.    But it’s possible that abortions declined in many places during lockdowns, Jones said.
    'Whatever happened in 2020 wasn’t just a matter of a long-term trend.    It also was impacted by COVID,' she said.
Emily Halvorson of Planned Parenthood participates in an
abortion-rights rally Nov. 1 in Washington. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

11/26/2021 Paris Archbishop Offers To Resign Over Relationship With Woman – Source
FILE PHOTO: Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit arrives to attend a meditation ceremony to
celebrate Good Friday in a secured part of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in France April 10, 2020. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit has sent a letter to the pope offering to resign following media reports about a relationship with a woman, a source close to the archdiocese said on Friday.
    “The archbishop has put his fate in the hands of the pope and has offered to leave if that is judged to be for the best of the diocese,” the source said.
    The French daily Le Figaro reported on Friday that Aupetit had offered to resign following reports about a relationship in 2012.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

11/26/2021 Pope Tells Macron ‘I’m Still Alive’ During Vatican Talks by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a
meeting at the Vatican, November 26, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, 84, joked on Friday “I’m still alive” when asked by French President Emmanuel Macron how things were going at the start of hour-long private talks in the Vatican.
    A video released by the Vatican of the two before and after the talks in the papal library showed the two to be very friendly, with both laughing.
    When the president sat at the pope’s desk and asked how things were going, Francis answered in Italian “I’m still alive.”    He shortly later said “perfect” but it was unclear whether he was referring to the same question.
    Francis was hospitalised for 11 days in July during which he underwent surgery to remove part of his colon, which had narrowed.    It was the first time he had been hospitalised since his election in 2013.
    A Vatican statement did not disclose what the two had discussed privately but said Macron’s talks with top Vatican diplomats afterwards included climate change, Lebanon, the Middle East, Africa, and the forthcoming French Presidency of the European Union.
    Shortly before the papal audience, Macron had told reporters he wanted to talk to Francis, among other things, about the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the Lebanon crisis and migration.
    Macron earlier on Friday told Britain it needed to “get serious” or remain locked out of discussions over how to curb the flow of migrants escaping war and poverty across the Channel as Britain and France continued to trade blame over the death of 27 migrants at sea.
    France is also taking a leading role to help Lebanon emerge from its crippling economic crisis.
    The pope, meeting the prime minister of Lebanon on Thursday, compared the country to a dying person and promised to do everything in his power to help it “rise again.”
    Macron gave the pope a rare copy of a 1585 biography of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, the religious order of which the pope is a member.
(Additional reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten in Paris; Editing by Gareth Jones)

11/26/2021 Pope To Help 50 Migrants In Cyprus Relocate To Italy After Trip To Region by Philip Pullella and Michele Kambas
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis looks on as he holds the weekly general audience at
the Paul VI Audience Hall, at the Vatican, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has arranged to have 50 migrants from Cyprus be relocated to Italy to mark his trip to the Mediterranean island next week, a Vatican source said on Friday.
    The 50 will be relocated after the trip, which begins on Thursday, but most likely not before Christmas because of logistical reasons, the source added.
    In Cyprus, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said the Vatican had expressed an intention to re-settle a number of migrants from the island to Rome but gave no details.
    “This is a tangible expression of solidarity by the Head of the Roman Catholic Church to people in need, affirming that the Vatican recognises the problem that the Republic of Cyprus faces today because of the increased migratory flows and the need for a fair distribution among EU member states,” he said.
    The east Mediterranean island, which is the closest European Union country to the volatile Middle East, says it has been inundated with arrivals in recent years.
    So far this year, migrant arrivals have risen 38% compared with the whole of 2020, it says.
    Many arrive through a porous “green line”- the legacy of a 1974 ceasefire after a Turkish invasion following a brief Greek-backed coup – which bisects the island into a Turkish Cypriot north and internationally recognised Greek Cypriot south.
    Of 10,868 arrivals in the first 10 months of 2021, more than 9,000 had arrived through that route.    Many of its asylum seekers are from war-torn Syria, but increasingly in recent years arrivals have spiked from sub-Saharan Africa.
    Francis is due to visit Cyprus on Dec. 2-4 before spending two days in Greece, including a day trip including the Greek island of Lesbos that hosts many foreign migrants.
    Francis, who has made defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy, visited the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos in 2016 and returned with a dozen Syrian refugees.
    Moria camp was destroyed by a fire last year and replaced with another camp called Mavrovouni.
(Reporting by Michelle Kambas in Cyprus; Editing by Louise Heavens)

11/26/2021 Russia Investigates Complaint Against Netflix Over LGBT Content
FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with the Netflix logo is seen on a keyboard in front of displayed
"Streaming service" words in this illustration taken March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo
(This Nov. 25 story corrects to clarify complaint process in lead/headline)
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is investigating a complaint against Netflix after the public commissioner for protecting families accused the streaming company of violating Russian law on “gay propaganda,” the Vedomosti daily reported.
    The commissioner, Olga Baranets, complained to the Interior Ministry that Netflix was in breach of a 2013 law that bans disseminating “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” among Russians under the age of 18 when broadcasting LGBT-themed series with a 16+ label.
    Her appeal is being considered by the Moscow department of the Interior Ministry, Vedomosti cited a source as saying in a report published late on Wednesday.
    Netflix declined to comment. The U.S. company could face a fine of up to 1 million roubles ($13,400) or a temporary suspension of its service if found to have violated the law, Vedomosti said.
    Russia’s legislation has been condemned by rights groups. In 2017 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Russian gay propaganda law breached European treaty rules, violated the right to freedom of expression and discriminated against LGBT people – a ruling Moscow called unjust.
    The newspaper quoted a source close to Netflix as saying the company had earlier this month checked its offering of series and films about the lives of members of the LGBT community and found none with a 16+ label.
    Moscow is clamping down on foreign technology companies in particular, which critics characterise as an attempt by the Russian authorities to exert tighter control over the internet.
    Vedomosti this month reported that Russian authorities were discussing changes to how online streaming services are regulated.
($1 = 74.6250 roubles)
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow, Editing by Timothy Heritage/Andrew Osborn)

11/28/2021 After Channel Deaths, Pope Urges Leaders To Respect Migrants’ Humanity by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis looks on as he holds the weekly general audience at the
Paul VI Audience Hall, at the Vatican, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for authorities to “respect the humanity” of migrants and strive to help them, after Britain and France traded barbs over the deaths of 27 migrants as they tried to cross the Channel.
    Francis dedicated nearly all of his Sunday message to the defence of migrants, telling several thousand people in St. Peter’s Square that he felt pain over recent tragedies.
    “Let us think of how many migrants are exposed in these very days to very grave dangers and how many lose their lives on our borders,” he said.
    “I feel pain when I hear news of the situation in which so many find themselves, those who died in the Channel, those at the border of Belarus, many of whom are children, those who drown in the Mediterranean,” he said.
    Francis raised his voice when he said “children.”
    After the drownings in the Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron told Britain it needed to “get serious” https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/french-interior-minister-cancels-meeting-with-uk-counterpart-french-media-2021-11-26 or remain locked out of discussions over how to curb the flow of migrants escaping war and poverty.
    France later cancelled an invitation to British Home Secretary Priti Patel to attend a meeting on the issue on Sunday in Calais.
    “I renew my heartfelt appeal to those who can contribute to the resolution of these problems, particularly civilian and military authorities, so that understanding and dialogue finally prevail over every type of exploitation and so that they direct their wills and efforts toward solutions that respect the humanity of these people,” the Pope said.
    Francis, who has made defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy, condemned traffickers.    Migrants that had been returned to North Africa, he said, were reduced to slavery, with women sold and men tortured.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

11/29/2021 Supreme Court ready for abortion rights case - Ruling on Miss. law would echo across US by Mark Sherman, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Both sides are telling the Supreme Court there’s no middle ground in Wednesday’s showdown over abortion.    The justices can either reaffirm the constitutional right to an abortion or wipe it away altogether.
    Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that declared a nationwide right to abortion, is facing its most serious challenge in 30 years in front of a court with a 6-3 conservative majority that has been remade by three appointees of President Donald Trump.
    “There are no half measures here,” said Sherif Girgis, a Notre Dame law professor who once served as a law clerk for Justice Samuel Alito.
    A ruling that overturned Roe and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey would lead to outright bans or severe restrictions on abortion in 26 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.
    The case being argued Wednesday comes from Mississippi, where a 2018 law would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability. The Supreme Court has never allowed states to ban abortion before the point of roughly 24 weeks when a fetus can survive outside the womb.
    The justices are separately weighing disputes over Texas’ much earlier abortion ban, at roughly six weeks, though those cases turn on the unique structure of the law and how it can be challenged in court, not the abortion right.    Still, abortion rights advocates were troubled by the court’s 5-4 vote in September to allow the Texas law, which relies on citizen lawsuits to enforce it, to take effect in the first place.
    “This is the most worried I’ve ever been,” said Shannon Brewer, who runs the only abortion clinic in Mississippi.
    The clinic offers abortions up to 16 weeks of pregnancy and about 10% of abortions it performs take place after the 15th week, Brewer said.
    She also noted that since the Texas law took effect, the clinic has seen a substantial increase in patients.
    The Supreme Court had never before agreed to hear a case over a pre-viability abortion ban.    But after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last year and her replacement by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the third of Trump’s appointees, the court said it would take up the case.
    The court could uphold the Mississippi law without explicitly overruling Roe and Casey, an outcome that would satisfy neither side.
    Abortion-rights advocates say that result would amount to the same thing as an outright ruling overturning the earlier cases because it would erase the rationale undergirding nearly a half-century of Supreme Court law.
    “A decision upholding this ban is tantamount to overruling Roe. The ban prohibits abortion around two months before viability,” said Julie Rikelman, who will argue the case for the clinic.
    On the other side, abortion opponents argue that the court essentially invented abortion law in Roe and Casey, and shouldn’t repeat that mistake in this case.
    If the justices uphold Mississippi’s law, they’ll have to explain why, said Thomas Jipping, a Heritage Foundation legal fellow.    They can either overrule the two big cases, Jipping said, “or they’re going to have to come up with another made-up rule.”
The Supreme Court has never allowed states to ban abortion before
the point of roughly 24 weeks. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP FILE

11/29/2021 Don’t Use Migrants As Pawns In Political Strategies, Pope Tells Governments by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis arrives at St. Peter's Basilica as part of the weekly
general audience at the Vatican, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Monday that migrants were being exploited as “pawns” on a political chessboard in an apparent reference to the crisis at the Belarus border.
    Thousands of migrants are stuck on the European Union’s eastern frontier in what the EU says is a crisis Minsk engineered by distributing Belarusian visas in the Middle East, flying them in and letting them go to the border.
    In a video message for the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) 70th anniversary, Francis said denying migrants their basic dignity was against the tenets of most religions.
    “Even more regrettable is the fact that migrants are increasingly being used as bargaining chips, as pawns on a chessboard, victims of political rivalries,” Francis said.br>     “How can suffering and despair be exploited to advance or defend political agendas?    How can political considerations prevail when it is the dignity of the human person that is at stake?” he said.
    Poland and other EU nations say the crisis is part of a “hybrid war” Belarus is waging in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed in response to Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko’s crushing of protests against his disputed re-election last year and is designed to destabilise the bloc.
    Lukashenko has accused the EU of deliberately provoking a humanitarian crisis that needed to be resolved.
    Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, bearing the brunt of the crisis, have deployed thousands of border guards, soldiers and police to seal the border and push back migrants attempting to cross over from Belarus.
    Francis has made the defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy and in his message to the IOM said that beyond the political and legal aspects of irregular situations, “we must never lose sight of the human face of migration.”
    Belarus has begun to fly some migrants home, mostly to Iraq, but has said it is waiting for an answer from the EU on its demand that Germany should accept 2,000 stranded at the border, which the EU has rejected and Germany has denied agreeing to it.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

11/29/2021 Catholic Nuns Lift Veil On Abuse In Convents by Philip Pullella
A nun walks in the San Damaso Courtyard, at the Vatican, November 26, 2021.
Picture taken November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – When young nuns at a convent in Eastern Europe told their Mother Superior that a priest had tried to molest them, she retorted that it was probably their fault for “provoking him.”
    When African nuns in Minnesota asked why it was always they who had to shovel snow they were told it was because they were young and strong, even though white sisters of the same age lived there too.
    As the Roman Catholic Church pays more attention to the closed world of convents, where women spend much of their time in prayer and household work, more episodes of psychological, emotional and physical abuse are coming to light.
    A new book, “Veil of Silence” by Salvatore Cernuzio, a journalist for the Vatican’s online outlet, Vatican News, is the latest expose to come from within and approved by authorities.
    Cernuzio recounts experiences of 11 women and their struggles with an age-old system where the Mother Superior and older nuns demand total obedience, in some cases resulting in acts of cruelty and humiliation.
    Marcela, a South American woman who joined an order of cloistered nuns in Italy 20 years ago when she was 19, recounts how the indoctrination was so strict that younger sisters needed permission to go to the bathroom and ask for sanitary products during their menstrual periods.
    “You are always complaining! Do you want to be a saint or not?” Marcela, who later left the convent, quotes the Mother Superior as shouting when she suggested changes in the daily routine.
    Therese, a French woman, was told “you have to suffer for Jesus” when she asked to be spared physically demanding chores because of a back condition.
    “I understood that we were all like dogs,” recounted Elizabeth, an Australian.    “They tell us to sit and we sit, to get up and we get up, to roll over and we roll over.”
BURNOUT SYNDROME
    Last year, Father Giovanni Cucci wrote a landmark article about abuse in convents in the Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica, whose texts are approved by the Vatican.
    He found that most of it was abuse of power, including episodes of racism such as in the Minnesota convent.    Cucci said the problem needed more attention because it had been overshadowed by the sexual abuse of children by priests.
    In 2018, the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano exposed the plight of foreign nuns sent by their orders to work as housekeepers for cardinals and bishops in Rome with little or no remuneration.
    It later chronicled a “burnout” syndrome, where younger women with good educations were held back by older superiors reluctant to relinquish a boot camp-style tradition of assigning them menial tasks, ostensibly to instil discipline and obedience.
    “Whatever may have worked in a pyramidal, authoritarian context of relationships before is no longer desirable or liveable,” wrote Sister Nathalie Becquart, a French member of the Xaviere Missionary Sisters and one of the highest-ranking women in the Vatican.
    Becquart wrote in the book’s preface of the “cries and sufferings” of women who entered convents because they felt a calling from God but later left because their complaints too often fell on deaf ears.
    Some were stigmatized as “traitors” by their orders and had great difficultly getting jobs in the outside world.
    Last year, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, who heads the Vatican department that oversees religious congregations, revealed that Pope Francis had opened a home in Rome for former nuns abandoned by their orders.
    The cardinal, who has launched investigations into a number of convents, told the Vatican newspaper he was shocked to discover that there were a few cases where former nuns had to resort to prostitution to live.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alex Richardson)

11/30/2021 S.D. Gov. Noem: Pro-Life Americans Are Not Anti-Woman by OAN Newsroom
FILE- South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Family Leadership Summit,
Friday, July 16, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    Anticipation is high as the Supreme Court is set to hear the most important abortion case in decades. Meanwhile, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is looking to set the record straight about the pro-life movement.    During a press conference Monday, the Republican expressed she’s hopeful the conservative-majority court will overturn Roe v. Wade.
    “I’m so excited that I’ll be around to finally watch that be torn out of our history books and that now we will now be a nation proud of our mothers, proud of our babies and proud of our future,” she expressed.
    The case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization centers around a 2018 Mississippi law, which aims to ban most abortions after 15-weeks.    The bill was blocked by two federal courts that claimed it violated Roe v. Wade.    However, Mississippi’s top prosecutor challenged this by claiming Roe v. Wade should be overturned and leave abortion laws up to the states.
    Meanwhile, Noem stressed action like this is what makes a difference while slamming the left’s narratives about pro-life Americans.br>     “I think those who are pro choice try to dehumanize they try to make an argument that we don’t care about women, that we don’t care about these babies and that’s just a false narrative that we have to push aggressively back against,” she stated.
    Noem warned the left’s attempts to depict motherhood as an inconvenience is anti-woman.
    “There are strong women out there leading that are parents, that are mothers and that false narrative that the left is trying to sell to this country is extremely wrong,” said the South Dakota governor.    “And it’s a lie that has crippled so much of our potential for success and blessings in the United States of America.”
    Noem said she is hopeful the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade for good and stressed this will be a huge win for women.    Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on Wednesday.

12/1/2021 On World AIDS Day, Pope Calls For Renewed Solidarity With Victims by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis greets people after the weekly general audience at the Paul VI
Audience Hall, at the Vatican, December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Wednesday called for a renewed solidarity with those suffering from the HIV virus to guarantee care for those in the world’s poorest places.
    Speaking at his general audience, Francis said World AIDS Day was an important occasion to remember people affected by the virus.    In some areas of the world there is no access to essential care, he said.
    UNAIDS, the Geneva-based United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS, said on Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic was undercutting the AIDS response in many places and services for people who use drugs for HIV were disrupted in 65% of 130 countries surveyed.
    “I hope there can be a renewed commitment of solidarity to guarantee efficient and equitable health care, (for those with HIV-AIDS),” the pope said.
    The World Health Organization (WHO) says about 37.7 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2020, more than two thirds of them in Africa.
    Last month Francis wrote a letter to Michael O’Loughlin, an American journalist who wrote a book about the work of Catholics who helped AIDS victims at the start of the crisis in the early 1980s.
    “Thank you for illuminating the lives and witnessing of the many priests, women religious and lay people who have chosen to accompany, support and help their brothers and sisters suffering from HIV and AIDS at great risk to their profession and reputation,” Francis wrote in the letter.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

12/1/2021 Pope’s Visit To Greece’s Lesbos Lays Bare Divisions Over Migrants by Karolina Tagaris
FILE PHOTO: Locals fish at the village of Panagiouda across the Mavrovouni camp
on the island of Lesbos, Greece, November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi
    LESBOS, Greece (Reuters) – Lucia Marcano was attending mass last month in the Catholic church on Lesbos when around 50 asylum-seekers from the island’s migrant camp turned up, having heard that Pope Francis was due to visit.
    “They came because they thought the pope would take them,” said Marcano, part of a small Catholic community there.
    Five years ago on his previous trip to the Greek island then on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis, Francis took three Syrian refugee families with him back to Rome.
    Moria, the squalid and dangerously overcrowded camp he walked through that day, burned to the ground last year, having become a symbol of Europe’s stumbling response to a crisis whose burden fell disproportionately on a handful of islands on its borders.
    Francis visits Lesbos again on Sunday to deliver a message of unity.    “They are our brothers and sisters,” he said of refugees ahead of his trip to Cyprus and Greece.
    But with the memories of the crisis of 2015 still fresh, the government in Athens has hardened its stance towards migrants, building closed holding centres in anticipation of a possible wave of refugees from Taliban-conquered Afghanistan, and intercepting boats at sea.
NOBODY FLEES WHO WAS ‘LIVING NORMALLY’
    Attitudes in the once welcoming local community, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price in 2016, have turned increasingly defensive too.
    “Why is the pope coming?    He’s coming for them, not us,” 80-year-old Evangelia Afentouli said while fishing in the harbour of the quaint village facing Mavrovouni, a temporary camp on an old army firing range where about 2,300 mostly Afghan asylum-seekers now live.
    The ground there is muddy from the previous day’s rain and workers are clearing out a burnt tent, while an excavator rumbles as preparations for the pope’s arrival continue.
    Nearby, a handful of Catholic asylum-seekers eagerly await his visit and speech.
    “I know I will be blessed when he comes,” said Laurence, a woman from the militia-plagued Democratic Republic of Congo who has been on Lesbos for two years.     “I think he’s a good person. He will hear our cry,” added Jules Penda, a teacher who fled separatist insurgency in Cameroon.
    “Nobody comes here because he was living normally in his country.    All of us are running from one problem or another.”
    Christian Tango Muyaka, who escaped Congo with his family, is lined up to speak to the pope.
    “His visit is a comfort and it gives us hope that the future will be better for us,” he said.
‘TAKE THEM FROM HERE’
    In 2015, hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers arrived on Lesbos’s beaches after risking the boat journey from Turkey.
    Fishermen pulled people from the sea and ageing residents welcomed them ashore with blankets and clothes.
    “Those of us who met them on the beaches, it was very hard,” said Marcano, who has opened the church almost daily since moving from Venezuela 24 years ago. “I met blind people, injured people.”
    Now, after years of feeling abandoned by the government and Europe, the octogenarian Afentouli says her message to those in power – including the pope – is simple: “Take them from here, the migrants.    They cause damage.    They don’t do any good.”
    Residents of Moria village blamed incidents of animal theft and break-ins on migrants, staging protests demanding that the camp be shut down.
    “We are from a village that has been completely destroyed,” said Thodoros Eskabas, a pensioner who says he has yet to be compensated for damage to his olive trees.
    “For us it means nothing if the pope comes or not.    All of the European Union leadership passed through Moria, what were the results?” he said.
    “The pope is coming for sensationalist reasons.”
(editing by John Stonestreet)

12/1/2021 Pope Francis To Visit Greece To Boost Catholic-Orthodox Ties by Deborah Kyvrikosaios by Deborah Kyvrikosaios
Pope Francis arrives to attend the weekly general audience at the
Paul VI Audience Hall, at the Vatican, December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Roman Catholics in mainly Orthodox Greece are preparing excitedly for a visit by Pope Francis that they hope will help bring Eastern and Western Christianity closer together.
    Francis will visit Greece on Dec. 4-6 after a two-day trip to Cyprus.
    “The fact that he himself is coming to Greece when it’s predominantly an Orthodox country is something very big for us and we just can’t wait,” said Mary Katherine Binibini, 24, a member of a Catholic youth group.    Though she was born in Greece, her family is originally from the Philippines.
    Greek Catholics number only about 50,000, out of a total population of around 11 million, but foreigners including, in recent years, asylum seekers, have swollen the figure to around 150,000.
    “The Catholic community awaits this visit in celebratory mood,” Theodoros Kontidis, Catholic Archbishop of Athens, told Reuters.
    “Greece and Cyprus are a door of contact with Orthodoxy.    Relations with the Orthodox Church are important and must be maintained and developed,” Kontidis said.
    “They have a lot of things in common, so collaboration and communication between the two Churches in the modern world, with whatever problems Christianity faces, is significant,” he added.
‘BROTHER IN FAITH’
    Christianity split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in 1054 in what is referred to as the Great Schism, and for centuries relations were rocky.
    In an attempt to heal the rift, in 2001 John Paul II became the first pope ever to visit Greece.    His appeal at that time for forgiveness for historic wrongs committed by Catholics against Orthodox Christians helped to thaw relations.
    In a video message released ahead of his trip to Greece and Cyprus, Francis said: “As a brother in faith I will have the grace to be received by you and to meet you in the name of the Lord of peace.”
    This will be Francis’ second trip to Greece. In 2016 he visited a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos and prayed with Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual head of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians, and Ieronymos, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church.    He will meet the latter again on this trip.
    Francis will also visit a refugee reception centre again on Lesbos, which was on the frontline of a mass migrant influx into Europe in 2015.
    “He has shown a sensitivity to the issue (of refugees)… He may want to show that this is an issue that is still alive,” said Kontidis.
    The pope will also meet Greece’s president and prime minister in Athens as well as young people at a Catholic school.     A large mass is planned on Sunday at the Megaro Mousikis, a concert hall in the Greek capital.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)

12/1/2021 Women Injured By Abortions To Call On Court To Overturn Roe V. Wade by OAN Newsroom
    As the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Dobbs abortion case Wednesday, more than 2,000 women injured by abortions will be on hand to call on the court to overturn Roe v. Wade as part of Operation Outcry sponsored by the Justice Foundation.    One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.

12/2/2021 U.S. To Join WTO Joint Declaration On Gender Equality
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters next to a
red traffic light in Geneva, Switzerland, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will join other members of the World Trade Organization in signing a declaration on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said on Thursday.
    The declaration is being readied for the 12th ministerial conference of WTO members.
    USTR said the decision to join the declaration reflects the Biden administration’s commitment to “advancing equity across the board and consistent with its national gender strategy to advance the full participation of all people – including women and girls – in the United States and around the world.”
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal)
[WELL THE PHRASE “advancing equity across the board and consistent with its national gender strategy," WILL TELL YOU THAT THE WORLD IS BEING TAKEN OVER BY THE GLOBALIST SOCIALIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT SINCE THE WORD EQUITY IS NOT EQUALITY AND EVEN IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THESE SOCIALIST ARE TRYING TO REPLACE OUR FIRST AMENDMENT, which regulate an establishment of religion, or that would prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.    It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the "ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.”.].

12/2/2021 Pope Deplores ‘Terrible Laceration’ Of Divided Cyprus, Urges Dialogue by Philip Pullella and Michele Kambas
Pope Francis is greeted at the Larnaca International Airport as he arrives for his visit to
Cyprus and Greece, in Larnaca, Cyprus, December 2, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    NICOSIA, Cyprus (Reuters) -Pope Francis on Thursday urged Cypriots to seek dialogue to heal the “terrible laceration” that has divided their island for nearly half a century, saying neither side should use force or threats.
    Francis, 84, started his first trip to Cyprus with a visit to the island’s Maronite cathedral, where he lauded Cyprus for its handling of a refugee influx authorities say is becoming overwhelming.
    But he saved his most powerful words about the island’s stagnant political situation for an address to leaders and diplomats at the presidential palace.br>     “The greatest wound suffered by this land has been the terrible laceration it has endured in recent decades.    I think of the deep suffering of all those people unable to return to their homes and their places of worship,” Pope Francis said.
    Cyprus has been split in two since a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a Greek-inspired coup, though the seeds of conflict were sown earlier soon after independence from Britain in 1960.
    Countless mediation attempts have failed and the peace process stalled in mid-2017, when talks collapsed.    Tens of thousands of Greek and Turkish Cypriot are internally displaced.
    Francis said the only word on the signpost towards peace was dialogue.
    “We know that it is no easy road; it is long and winding, but there is no other way to achieve reconciliation.”
    Francis is visiting the southern parts of the island, controlled by the internationally-recognised Cyprus government.    A Turkish Cypriot breakaway state in northern Cyprus is recognised only by Ankara.
    “The people of Cyprus lived through, and know better than anyone the pain of being uprooted from their homes, becoming refugees,” Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said.
    Nicosia is one of the world’s last divided capitals and the Vatican embassy where the pope will be staying is right on the dividing line.    A wall in the back garden of the embassy is lined with barbed wire, and beyond that, the Turkish Cypriot side of Nicosia.
    The church in the compound that houses the embassy still bears scars from the crossfire of ethnic strife.
    Francis, who shuns large, bulletproof cars, travelled in a small black Fiat 500 with open windows.    He was greeted with cheers and applause as the vehicle navigated the capital’s narrow streets.
    Cyprus says it is struggling to cope with an influx of undocumented migrants, through the dividing line splitting the island or by boats from the neighbouring Middle East. [KBN2IF0YM]
    “By your spirit of fraternity, you can remind everyone, and Europe as a whole, that we need to work together to build a future worthy of humanity, to overcome divisions, to break down walls, to dream and work for unity,” Francis said at the Maronite cathedral.
    Francis, who has made defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy, has arranged to have 50 migrants relocated to Italy after his trip this week.    He will also travel to Greece https://www.reuters.com/world/popes-visit-greeces-lesbos-lays-bare-divisions-over-migrants-2021-12-01, including Lesbos Island, where many refugees have arrived.
(Writing by Michele Kambas, Editing by Peter Graff and Angus MacSwan)

12/2/2021 Portugal Urges Victims Of Clergy Sexual Abuse To Break The Silence by Catarina Demony and Miguel Pereira
A person walks by a church in the center of Lisbon, Portugal, December 2, 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes
    LISBON (Reuters) – A commission investigating allegations of historical child sexual abuse by members of the Portuguese Catholic church urged victims on Thursday to speak up and help them lift a veil of silence around the issue.
    “We want (victims) to report, finally and without fear, what happened to them,” the head of the newly-created commission, psychiatrist Pedro Strecht, told a news conference during which he announced the team conducting the investigation.
    Portugal’s Bishops Conference announced the creation of the body last month after a major investigation in France revealed that around 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused 200,000 children over the past 70 years.
    The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.
    “The Portuguese church is the first to want to shed light on this issue,” said Jose Ornelas, head of the Bishops’ Conference.    “If I expect many or few cases? I don’t know what to expect.”
    Strecht named an investigative team of five, including a judge, a sociologist and even a film-maker.    They hope to present the report by the end of 2022.
    Victims will be able to report via a website, a phone number and e-mail address.    Strecht said the commission counts on the collaboration from the church to access the institution’s files.
    The investigation is being financed by the Catholic Church itself. Asked if that could be a threat to the commission’s independence, Strecht said he would be the first to walk out and denounce if the church intervenes in the process.
    “It’s very good they are investigating this…(but) It should have already been investigated,” said 61-year-old Lisbon resident Isabel Pagani.
    Jaime Oliveira, 72, similarly opined the commission “comes a little too late,” but it should investigate any abuse, which he called unacceptable, “to the very end.”
(This story corrects para 6 to say commission hopes to present report by end of 2022, not 2023)
(Reporting by Catarina Demony, Miguel Pereira and Pedro Nunes; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Angus MacSwan)

12/2/2021 Paris Archbishop Asks For Forgiveness, Quits Over Relationship
FILE PHOTO: French Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit attends the annual Good Friday "Stations of the Cross" procession
in the gardens of the Montmartre's Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris, France, March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Catholic Church said on Thursday the pope had accepted the resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit who asked for forgiveness after reports over a relationship with a woman.
    The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the church’s celibacy rule, has denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman in comments to Le Point magazine, though he acknowledged his behaviour may have been ambiguous.
    “I have been deeply troubled by the attacks on me … I pray for those who, maybe, have wished bad things onto me, as Christ has taught us,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
    “I ask forgiveness from those I might have hurt.”
    Aupetit’s departure comes as the Catholic Church in France is reeling from the publication in October of an investigation showing that clerics sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years.
    The archdiocese of Paris, one of 15 archdioceses in France, is in charge of the Ile-de-France region around the capital.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Peter Graff and Andrew Cawthorne)
[The tenth commandment says "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbor's."    The commandment is saying that people should not be envious of other people.    The man above did not violate this commandment all he did was having a relation with a woman, and Catholics had rampant homosexual activity and did not punish them so throw the first stone as Jesus told the Israeli pundunts.]

12/2/2021 Supreme Court Justices Lean Toward Abortion Restrictions by OAN Newsroom
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, center right, accompanied by Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart,
center left, waves to supporters as they walk out of of the U.S. Supreme Court, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington,
after the court heard arguments in a case from Mississippi, where a 2018 law would ban abortions
after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The Supreme Court heard its biggest case in a generation.    On Wednesday, the high court heard oral arguments, which centered around a 2018 Mississippi law that restricts most abortions after 15-weeks The Solicitor General of Mississippi, Scott Stewart kicked, off the hearing by urging the justices to uphold his state’s law.
    The big question of this case is whether the right to abortion can be found in the Constitution.    Moving forward, Justice Clarence Thomas questioned officials like U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar who argued abortion is a right.
    “if we were talking about the Second Amendment, I know exactly what we are talking about,” said Thomas.    “If we’re talking about the Fourth Amendment, I know what we’re talking about because it’s written.    It is there.    What specifically is the right here that we are talking about?"
    Prelogar responding, saying “I think that the court in those other contexts, with respect to those other amendments, has had to articulate what the text means and its bounds of constitutional guarantees.”     According to the U.S. Solicitor General, the right to abortion is implied within the 14th Amendment.    Meanwhile, she answered the final question from Justice Thomas who asked if the right specifically is abortion.    She responded, saying “the right of a woman, prior to viability, to control whether to continue with a pregnancy, yes.”
    Moving on to closing arguments, the Solicitor General of Mississippi concluded with a dire warning about what could happen if the Mississippi abortion law is not upheld.
    “We’re running on 50-years of Roe, it is an egregiously wrong decision that has inflicted tremendous damage on our country and will continue to take innumerable human lives unless and until this court overrules it,” Stewart stated.    “…Uphold the state’s law.”
    According to the Associated Press, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, including three Trump appointed justices, signaled it will uphold the Mississippi abortion restrictions and may go further to overturn the decision of Roe v. Wade.
    Justices are expected to vote within the coming days, but the decision is not likely to be issued until June.

12/3/2021 Archbishop resigns over relationship by Angela Charlton and Thomas Adamson, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    PARIS – Pope Francis on Thursday accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Paris, who unexpectedly offered to step down last week after admitting to an “ambiguous” relationship with a woman in 2012.
    Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit said in a statement Thursday that he offered to step down “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust are continuing to provoke.”
    The Vatican said in a statement that the pope accepted Aupetit’s offer, and named Monsignor Georges Pontier to serve temporarily in his place pending the pontiff’s appointment of a permanent new archbishop.
    The Vatican gave no reason Thursday for why Francis had accepted Aupetit’s resignation, or why the decision had come so quickly after it had been offered.
    The resignation comes amid great upheaval in the French Catholic Church.    A report in October estimated some 3,000 French priests had committed sexual abuse over the past 70 years.
[WELL AT LEAST HE IS A MALE AND HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOMAN.].

12/3/2021 Pope Calls For Healing In Split Cyprus, Orthodox Archbishop Attacks Turkey by Philip Pullella and Michele Kambas
Pope Francis leads Holy Mass at the GSP Stadium, in Nicosia, Cyprus, December 3, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
    NICOSIA (Reuters) – Pope Francis called on Friday for healing during an outdoor Mass in Cyprus within sight of a huge Turkish Cypriot flag on a mountainside on the other side of a line that has divided the island for nearly half a century.
    Francis began his first full day in Cyprus at a meeting with leaders of the Orthodox Church, the biggest Christian community on the island. There, Francis again expressed a desire for eventual unity between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity, which have been split since 1054.
    There are only 38,000 Catholics on the island, making up about 4.7% of the population and for many the Mass at the stadium was the highlight of the pope’s two-day visit.
    Many of the 10,000 worshippers were Filipinos who work in Cyprus, mostly as housekeepers.    The Philippines is Asia’s largest Catholic country.
    The pope wove his homily around the theme of healing and shared pain – topics that touch a chord with all Cypriots on an island that has been split in two since a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a Greek-inspired coup.
    “Healing takes place when we carry our pain together, when we face our problems together, when we listen and speak to one another,” Francis said.
    Countless mediation attempts on Cyprus have failed and the peace process stalled in 2017 when talks collapsed.    Tens of thousands of Greek and Turkish Cypriots remain internally displaced.
    The huge Turkish Cypriot flag painted into the mountainside, which is lit up at night, is a constant reminder of division.
ARCHBISHOP RAPS TURKEY
    Francis is visiting only the south of the island, controlled by the internationally-recognised Cypriot government.    A Turkish Cypriot breakaway state in northern Cyprus is recognised only by Ankara.
    Shortly after the pope arrived on Thursday, the leader of the self-styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus invited Francis “with my most sincere feelings” to visit his side of the island too.
    “It is my hope and expectation that Pope Francis responds positively to our invitation and treats all believers on an equal basis, as he has repeatedly stated,” Ersin Tatar said in a statement.
    At his meeting with the pope, Cyprus’ Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II attacked Turkey.
    Many Christian places of worship were converted to mosques, priceless icons and relics smuggled abroad, and place-names changed in the aftermath of the conflict.
    “Not only did they imitate the blood-thirsty Attila, but they exceeded him,” Chrysostomos told Francis, referring to a fifth century ruler of the Huns and an enemy of Christianity.
    “In this holy and just struggle … we would like your active support,” Chrysostomos said.
    Francis called for the restitution of sacred objects https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/pope-francis-arrives-cyprus-with-migrants-focus-2021-12-02 to their legitimate owners in a speech on Thursday.
    The Vatican’s own relations with mainly Muslim Turkey, which the pope visited in 2014, have sometimes been difficult.
    Last year, the pope said he was deeply pained by Turkey’s decision to make a mosque of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum, which was once a Christian cathedral.
    In 2015, the pope angered Turkey when he said the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in World War One was “the first genocide of the 20th century.”
    Turkey, which denies accusations of genocide, recalled its ambassador to the Vatican in protest.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)

12/3/2021 Pope To Facilitate Re-Location Of 50 Migrants, Cyprus Says by Philip Pullella and Michele Kambas
Pope Francis arrives to hold an ecumenical prayer with migrants at the Parish Church of
the Holy Cross, in Nicosia, Cyprus, December 3, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus said on Friday that 50 migrants in the country would be re-located as part of an initiative by Pope Francis coinciding with his visit to the east Mediterranean island.
    The interior ministry, in an announcement that confirmed an earlier Reuters report, said the 50 included two people who had been stranded in the no-man’s-land dividing the two sides of the divided island for the past five months.
    “This symbolic act is an acknowledgement of the difficulties Cyprus faces from an increasing migratory influx through the ‘green line’,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the dividing line between the two sides.
    “It’s this proportional, substantive solidarity we expect from our European partners,” it said.
    Cypriot prison officials said 10 of the 50 chosen migrants were inmates jailed for illegal entry.
    Reuters, citing a Vatican source, reported on Nov. 26 that the 50 would be re-located to Italy after the pope leaves but most likely not before Christmas due to logistical reasons.
RISING NUMBERS
    Cyprus, which is geographically the closest European Union member state to the volatile Middle East, says it has been inundated with arrivals in recent years.
    Migrant arrivals so far this year are up 38% compared with the whole of 2020, it says.
    Many arrive through a porous “green line” – the legacy of a 1974 ceasefire after a Turkish invasion following a brief Greek-backed coup – which bisects the island into a Turkish Cypriot north and internationally recognised Greek Cypriot south.
    Of 10,868 arrivals in the first 10 months of 2021, more than 9,000 arrived via that route.    Many asylum seekers are from war-torn Syria, but arrivals from sub-Saharan Africa have also increased in recent years.
    The pope leaves Cyprus on Saturday for Greece, where he will also visit the island of Lesbos that hosts many migrants.
    Francis, who has made defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy, visited Lesbos in 2016 and returned with a dozen Syrian refugees.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones)

12/5/2021 Pope warns of populist threats while in Greece - Francis acknowledges ‘retreat from democracy’ by Nicole Winfield and Derek Gatopoulos, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    ATHENS, Greece – Pope Francis warned Saturday that the “easy answers” of populism and authoritarianism are threatening democracy in Europe and called for fresh dedication to promoting the common good.
    Arriving in Greece, the birthplace of democracy, Francis used a speech to Greek political and cultural leaders to warn Europe at large about the threats facing the continent.    He said only robust multilateralism can address the pressing issues of the day, from protecting the environment to fighting the pandemic and poverty.
    “Politics needs this, in order to put common needs ahead of private interests,” Francis said.    “Yet we cannot avoid noting with concern how today, and not only in Europe, we are witnessing a retreat from democracy.”
    Later Saturday, Francis met with the leader of Greece’s Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, and was briefly heckled as he arrived at the archbishop’s residence.
    “Pope, you’re a heretic!” an elderly Orthodox priest shouted three times before police took him away.    Francis appeared not to notice and proceeded inside, but the disturbance was a reminder of the lingering tensions between Catholics and Orthodox Christians in Greece.
    Francis, who lived through Argentina’s populist Peronist era as well as its military dictatorship, has frequently warned about the threat of authoritarianism and populism and the danger it poses to the European Union and democracy itself.
    He didn’t name any specific countries or leaders during his speech.    The EU, however, is locked in a feud with members Poland and Hungary over rule-of-law issues, with Warsaw insisting that Polish law takes precedence over EU policies and regulations.
    Outside the bloc, populist leaders in Brazil and the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump pressed nationalist policies on the environment that contrasted sharply with Francis’ call to care for “our common home.”
    Opening the second leg of his five-day trip to Cyprus and Greece, Francis recalled that it was in Greece, according to Aristotle, that man became conscious of being a political animal and a member of a community of fellow citizens.
    “Here, democracy was born,” Francis told Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.    “That cradle, thousands of years later, was to become a house, a great house of democratic peoples.    I am speaking of the European Union and the dream of peace and fraternity that it represents for so many peoples.”
    That dream is at risk amid the economic upheaval and other disruptions of the pandemic that can breed nationalist sentiments and make authoritarianism seem “compelling and populism’s easy answers appear attractive,” Francis said.
    “The remedy is not to be found in an obsessive quest for popularity, in a thirst for visibility, in a flurry of unrealistic promises ... but in good politics,” he said.
    The pope’s visit ends Monday.
Pope Francis arrives at a meeting with members of the Greece
religious community in Athens on Saturday. ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AP

12/5/2021 Pope Francis Visits Migrant Camp On Greek Island Of Lesbos by Philip Pullella and Lefteris Papadimas
People hold a banner near the Mavrovouni camp for refugees and migrants before the visit of
Pope Francis, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, December 5, 2021. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
    LESBOS, Greece (Reuters) – Pope Francis will travel to Lesbos on Sunday to meet asylum-seekers at a migrant camp there on his second visit to the Greek island that was at the forefront of Europe’s refugee crisis.
    Francis is on a five-day trip to Cyprus and Greece during which he has highlighted the struggles of refugees and migrants, an issue that has become the cornerstone of his papacy.
    On his previous visit to Lesbos in 2016, at the height of Europe’s migration crisis, Francis walked through the squalid and dangerously overcrowded Moria camp and famously brought 12 Syrian refugees back to Rome with him.
    Moria, at its worst point the size of a town of 20,000 people, burned down last year after becoming a symbol of Europe’s stumbling response to a crisis that left much of the burden to be carried by small islands like Lesbos.
    On Sunday, the pope will visit the temporary camp that was hastily set up after the blaze in a old army firing range, home to around 2,300 mostly Afghan asylum-seekers.
    Dozens of police officers were deployed inside and migrants were queuing up to enter the tent where the pope was due to speak.
    “The issue of migration cannot disproportionately affect the countries on the borders of the European Union,” Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Sunday.
    Greece, like other Mediterranean countries Italy, Spain and Cyprus, has long been the gateway into the European Union for people fleeing war, poverty or persecution in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
    While the number of people crossing to Greece from Turkey has fallen dramatically in recent years, the government, fearing a possible wave of refugees from Taliban-conquered Afghanistan, is hardening its migration policy.    Public attitudes towards migrants have also become increasingly hostile.
    Greece has come under fire from rights groups for building “prison-like” closed holding centres for migrants on five islands close to Turkey, including Lesbos, and for intercepting migrant boats at sea.
    Ahead of the pope’s visit, about two dozen asylum-seekers, some of whom have been in limbo on Lesbos for years, gathered for Mass https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/pope-prepares-visit-greeces-lesbos-migrants-hope-change-2021-12-04 in a small Roman Catholic church.
    “We hope that by this visit, maybe something can change,” said Landrid, a 42-year-old man who fled a separatist insurgency in Cameroon.
(Additional reporting and writing by Karolina Tagaris;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

12/5/2021 Pope Calls Migrant Crisis ‘Shipwreck Of Civilisation’ by Philip Pullella and Lefteris Papadimas
Pope Francis visits the island of Lesbos to meet with the the refugees and migrants
at the Mavrovouni camp, Greece, December 5, 2021. Vatican Media/¬Handout via REUTERS
    LESBOS, Greece (Reuters) - Pope Francis condemned the exploitation of migrants for political purposes on Sunday during a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, branding the global indifference to their plight the “shipwreck of civilisation”
    Francis walked through the Mavrovouni camp, which holds about 2,300 people, stopping to greet dozens of refugees and giving a high five to a young African boy.
    He first visited the island, one of the main entry points for migrants, in 2016 and took 12 Syrian refugees back to Italy with him.    He lamented that “little has changed” since then.
    The Mediterranean, where thousands have died trying to make the crossing from north Africa to Europe, was still “a grim cemetery without tombstones
    “Please, let us stop this shipwreck of civilisation!” he said.
    Francis for the second straight day chided those who use the migration crisis for political ends.
    “It is easy to stir up public opinion by instilling fear of others,” he said, adding that people who are anti-immigrant “fail to speak with equal vehemence” about the exploitation of the poor, wars, and the arms industry.
    “The remote causes should be attacked, not the poor people who pay the consequences and are even used for political propaganda,” he said.
    The camp, set up in a old army firing range, is made up of dozens of prefabricated structures, some similar to shipping containers and other, smaller ones made of plastic.
ERA OF WALLS AND BARBED WIRE
    The spaces between the structures are like streets of a bleak village where people live in limbo.    Baby carriages and children’s tricycles leaned on the home of one Afghan couple.
    Sitting on a chair under a tent with the sea behind him, the pope listened to Christian Tango Mukaya, a 30-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who has been at the camp with two of his children for a year.    He has not had contact with his wife and another child since he arrived.
    Mavrovouni, whose perimeter is surrounded by cement, barbed wire and the sea, replaced the notorious Moria camp that burned down last year https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-greece-lesbos-idUSKBN26002M.
    The pope visited several families there at the end of his morning visit.
    Departing from his prepared address, Francis said it was “distressing” to hear that some European leaders wanted to use common funds to build a wall and put up barbed wire to keep immigrants out.
    “We are in the era of walls and barbed wire,” he said.
    Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called for the EU to jointly finance a border wall https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/polish-police-say-group-50-migrants-broke-through-belarus-border-2021-11-14 to stem the tide of migrants coming from the Middle East through Belarus into Poland.
    As grim and bleak as Mavrovouni is, it is a marked improvement over Moria, which human rights groups decried for its squalid and overcrowded conditions.
    Greece has long been the main entry point into the European Union for migrants and refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people arrived on Lesbos’s beaches in 2015 after crossing on boats from Turkey.
    Joshue, an 18-year-old refugee from Congo, was among those who welcomed the pope’s visit.
    “It’s not like hearing it from afar, he came to the field to see how we live, to see how things happen here, so it gives us hope and strength knowing that such a leader is thinking about us,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

12/5/2021 Orthodox Priest Shouts ‘Pope, You Are A Heretic’ At Francis In Athens by Philip Pullella and Karolina Tagaris
Pope Francis arrives at the Orthodox Archbishopric of Greece for a meeting with Greek Orthodox
church Archbishop Ieronimos in Athens, Greece, December 4, 2021. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi
    ATHENS (Reuters) - An elderly Greek Orthodox priest shouted “Pope, you are a heretic” as Pope Francis was entering the Orthodox Archbishopric in Athens on Saturday and was taken away by police, a reminder of the lingering distrust between the two divided churches.
    Video showed the man, who was dressed in black robes and black hat and had a long white beard, shouting the words in Greek outside the building before police bundled him away.
    Witnesses said he shouted loud enough for the pope to hear the commotion.    The man appeared to have fallen while being taken away and was lifted up by police.
    Francis arrived in Greece on Saturday for a three-day visit that Greek Catholics hope will bring the Eastern and Western churches closer together.
    Christianity split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in 1054 in what is referred to as the Great Schism, and for centuries relations were rocky.
    In his address to the archbishop, Beatitude Ieronymos II, Francis asked forgiveness in the name of the Roman Catholic Church for its part in the historical wrongs that led to the breakup.
    “Tragically, in later times we grew apart.    Worldly concerns poisoned us, weeds of suspicion increased our distance and we ceased to nurture communion,” Francis told Ieronymos, whom he met during his first trip to Greece in 2016.
    “I feel the need to ask anew for the forgiveness of God and of our brothers and sisters for the mistakes committed by many Catholics,” Francis said.
    Pope John Paul II first asked forgiveness for the Catholic role in the break-up when he visited Greece in 2001.     “We believe you have the courage and the sincerity to examine the failures and omissions of your fathers,” Ieronymos told Francis.    “Between those who want to be called Christian brothers, the best language is, and always will be, honesty.”
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alex Richardson)

12/6/2021 Pope Says Willing To Go To Moscow To Meet Orthodox Patriarch by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conducts the Orthodox Christmas service at the
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Russia, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
    ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Monday he was willing to go to Moscow for to meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill “brother to brother” in what would be the first trip by a pope to Russia.
    The pair’s meeting in Cuba in 2016 was the first by a pope and a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since the great schism that split Christianity into Eastern and Western branches in 1054.
    Both sides have declared a willingness to work towards unity but they are still far apart theologically and over what role the pope would play in an eventually reunited Church.
    “We are brothers and we talk straight to each other.    We do not dance the minuet,” Francis told reporters aboard his plane returning from a trip to Cyprus and Greece.
    “We have to move forward, walking and working towards unity.”
    He said he was willing to go Moscow and that a top Russian Orthodox official was expected in Rome next week to decide the time and location of the meeting.
    Francis said working out the protocols would be less important than meeting “brother to brother” with Kirill.
    The Pope normally travels to countries with a joint invitation from its religious authorities as well as one from the government, meaning that Francis would most likely need an invitation from President Vladimir Putin to visit Russia.
    The Russian Orthodox Church, the largest in Christian Orthodoxy, with about 100 million members, is closely aligned with the Kremlin.
    Francis said the meeting with Kirill was “on the not too distant horizon.”
    He said Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, who is responsible for the Russian Orthodox Church’s external relations, would be coming to the Vatican to meet him to discuss where and when the next meeting can take place.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Alison Williams)

12/6/2021 Pope Says He Accepted French Bishop Resignation Due To Harm To Reputation by Philip Pullella
Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit blesses the French capital from the Sacre-Coeur Basilica of Montmartre
in Paris as part of Easter ceremonies during a lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files
    ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Monday that he had accepted the resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit not because he had sinned but because the gossip about him had left him in a position where he could no longer govern the diocese.
    Speaking to reporters on a plane returning to Rome from a trip to Cyprus and Greece, Francis said sins of the flesh were certainly sins but not as great as sins such as hatred and pride and that the bishop had been the victim of “an injustice.”
    Aupetit asked for forgiveness after reports over a relationship with a woman.    The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the Church’s celibacy rule, has denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman, though he acknowledged his behaviour may have been ambiguous.
    “It was a failing against the sixth commandment (You shall not commit adultery) but not a total one, one of small caresses, massage given to his secretary – that is what the accusation is,” Francis said.    “There is a sin there but not the worst kind.”
    He said everyone was a sinner, including himself.    “He (the bishop) was condemned but by whom?    By public opinion, by gossip .. he could no longer govern.”
    “I accepted the resignation of Aupetit not on the altar of truth, but on the altar of hypocrisy,” he said.
    Francis said he still did not have all the details of the case and expected to get them from French bishops when they visit the Vatican soon to discuss a recent report on clerical sexual abuse in the country.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones, William Maclean)

12/6/2021 Pope Ends Mediterranean Trip Defending Refugee Rights by Karolina Tagaris and Philip Pullella
    Pope Francis leaves the Saint Dionysius School of the Ursuline Sisters
in Athens, Greece, December 6, 2021. Thanassis Stavrakis/Pool via REUTERS
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Pope Francis heard from young people including children of migrants who have fled war or poverty at a school in Athens on Monday, as he wrapped up a trip to the Mediterranean in which he defended the rights of refugees and condemned those who exploit their plight for political gain.
    The pope’s last event in Greece was a visit to a Catholic-run school where he listened to accounts from several students, including 12-year-old Aboud Gabro, whose family left Syria after their house in Aleppo took a direct hit by a bomb in 2014.
    He urged also the children to become social themselves instead of slaves of social media and “prisoners of the cell phones in their hands.”
    During a five-day visit to Cyprus and Greece, Francis returned to Lesbos, the Greek island on the forefront of Europe’s migration crisis when it began in 2015, lamenting that “little has changed” since his previous visit there.
    Speaking from the island’s migrant camp, Francis called the Mediterranean, where thousands have drowned trying to make the crossing to Europe, “a grim cemetery without tombstones.”
    Greece, and more recently Cyprus, are the main gateways into the European Union for people trying to flee war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond.
    Nearly a million people, mostly Syrians, crossed to Greece from Turkey in 2015, before travelling to wealthier northern European countries, where their arrival has fuelled support for populists and far-right groups.
    At an emotional meeting with migrants in Cyprus, Francis compared the conditions in which migrants are held in Libya and elsewhere to those in Nazi and Soviet camps.
    The pontiff arranged to have 50 migrants living in Cyprus relocated to Rome.
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Philip Pullella; Editing by Alex Richardson)

12/6/2021 Debates On Overturning Roe V. Wade Continue, GOP Confident by OAN Newsroom
FILE – A group of anti-abortion protesters pray together in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Dec. 1, 2021,
in Washington, as the court hears arguments in a case from Mississippi, where a 2018 law would ban
abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    As the U.S. Supreme Court continues debating on the future of abortion access nationwide, the GOP remains confident in its decades-long effort to have a landmark abortion case overturned.    Justices recently heard oral arguments over a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15-weeks.
    During an interview Sunday, GOP Governor Tate Reeves said there’s “some reason for optimism” the Supreme Court will uphold the 15-week ban and overturn 1973’s Roe v. Wade.    Reeves, however, assured if the decision is overturned he plans on enforcing a near total ban of all abortions in his state.
    “What it does mean is that all 50 states, the laboratories of democracy, are going to have the ability to enact their own laws with respect to abortion,” he stated.    “I think that’s the way it should be in America.”
    The Republican governor’s remarks come as Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) on Sunday said he believes it’s about time abortion law decisions be turned back to the states.
    “The beauty of our system is that it’s federal, it’s got all of these different ideas,” he stated.    “And when you try to nationalize, federalize the way the other side of the aisle is doing on more than just this, I think you’re constantly in that area of contention.”
    Bruan also suggested he wouldn’t mind criminalizing abortion, reiterating he’d like to see “abortions eliminated from the landscape.”
    “Whatever ones opinion is, whatever you think politically, why try to do it at the national level? asked the senator."    “States do what they wanna do.”
    During a separate interview on Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said the best way to protect abortions would be to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, Braun suggested turning the decision back over to the states, however, would let the diversity of America show forth.
    Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence said he’s confident Roe v. Wade, will eventually be overturned.    In a recent interview, he highlighted how it will likely be overturned due to the current Mississippi abortion case.
    Pence added, steps toward this victory wouldn’t be possible if 45th president Donald Trump didn’t previously appoint three pro-life justices.
    “I don’t know if it will happen now, but I know it will happen,” he asserted.    “Not just because of the renewed conservative majority on the Supreme Court, but because of this extraordinary generation of conservatives that President Trump appointed to our courts all across the country.”
    Pence hasn’t confirmed if he will be running for office in upcoming elections, but did say he’s committed to helping the GOP retake majorities in Congress and the White House in 2024.

12/7/2021 ‘Love Is Love:’ Chile Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage In Historic Vote by Fabian Cambero
People react outside Congress as the Senate vote to approve a
same-sex marriage bill in Valparaiso, Chile December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
    SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile’s Congress passed a law to legalize same-sex marriage on Tuesday, in a milestone for the conservative South American nation after a decade-long legal battle and with the country delicately poised ahead of a crossroads election this month.
    “Today is a historic day, our country has approved same-sex marriage, one more step forward in terms of justice, in terms of equality, recognizing that love is love,” Minister of Social Development Karla Rubilar said after the vote.
    Chile’s Senate and lower house of parliament both voted heavily in favor of the bill on Tuesday, which had previously been partially approved in November before the Senate sent it back to a committee to clarify ambiguities.
    Current President Sebastian Pinera, who will leave office in March, has backed the bill and is expected to sign it into law.
    The vote culminates a process that began in 2017, when the first bill was introduced, backed by then-President Michelle Bachelet. Chile is now poised to join over 20 countries globally with legal same-sex marriage, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay in Latin America.
    “It is hard to believe that today we are taking this step,” said Rolando Jimenez from LGBT rights group Movilh, one of the major backers of the bill and which helped spearhead Chile’s push to legalize same sex marriage for more than a decade.
    Chile will elect a new president on Dec. 19, choosing between progressive Gabriel Boric and social conservative Jose Antonio Kast, a practicing Catholic.    The two offer wildly different visions for the country’s future.
    While Kast disagrees with same-sex marriage, he had said he would have signed the bill into law anyway had it been passed by Congress during a potential presidency of his.
    Chile has long had a conservative reputation even compared with its deeply Catholic Latin American peers.    Still, a strong majority of Chileans now support same-sex marriage and Chileans have shown signs of moving left on social and cultural issues in recent years.
    Civil unions have been permitted in Chile since 2015, which affords same-sex partners many but not all the benefits of married couples, like the right to adoption.
    The law, which will come into effect 90 days after it is published in the Official Gazette, was cheered by rights groups and couples, opening the door for both parents in a same sex couple to receive full legal recognition.
    “This is cause for all Chilean society to celebrate,” said Isabel Amor, executive director of equality group Iguales.
    “Not only will people who have a same-sex relationship be able to marry, but hundreds of children and adolescents will get recognition for their two mothers or two fathers.”
(Reporting by Fabian CamberoEditing by Mark Heinrich and Alistair Bell)

12/8/2021 LGBTQ Groups Cheer Tokyo’s Same-Sex Partnership Move As Big Step Forward by Elaine Lies
FILE PHOTO: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike attends a news conference, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,
at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, in Tokyo, Japan, November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese LGBTQ rights activists on Wednesday hailed Tokyo’s move to introduce a same-sex partnership system as a huge step in their fight for equality in the only G7 country that does not fully recognise same-sex marriage.
    Under plans announced by Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike on Tuesday, partnerships would be allowed early next year and made legal in the fiscal year beginning April 2022, vastly expanding the number of people in Japan who can benefit.
    The partnership system allows same-sex partners to register their relationship and gain some of the privileges enjoyed by married couples, such as being allowed to rent places to live together and gain hospital visitation rights.
    Though it falls short of a legal marriage, Tokyo’s move to adopt the partnership system is seen as an important step towards legalising same-sex unions in a nation where the Constitution still defines marriage as based on “the mutual consent of both sexes.”
    “This is amazing news,” said Masa Yanagisawa, head of Prime Services Japan at Goldman Sachs and a board member of activist group “Marriage for All Japan.”
    “Some conservatives have voiced concerns that even though these partnerships are just symbolic pieces of paper, they could undermine Japanese traditions or the traditional Japanese family system.    Hopefully this will be a chance to prove otherwise.”
    Tokyo’s Shibuya ward in 2015 was the first place in Japan to introduce the partnership system.    The system already covers 41% of Japan’s population and the extension to Tokyo means over half of the nation could potentially benefit, according to campaign group Nijiiro Diversity.
    Activists have long lobbied for the whole capital city to adopt the system, and stepped up such efforts ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, delayed by the coronavirus pandemic until this summer.
    Takeharu Kato, a lawyer in charge of a landmark court case in March where barring same-sex marriage was ruled “unconstitutional,” said the government may have shown restraint in expanding the partnership system due to “the fact that a lot of ruling party lawmakers are reluctant about this.”
    Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told parliament that introducing same-sex marriage would require “prudent consideration.”
    “The introduction of a system allowing same-sex marriage would be an issue that goes straight to the very core of how families ought to be in Japan,” he said.
OLYMPICS IMPACT
    While Tokyo as a whole did not adopt the partnership system before the Games, the Olympics, with its focus on diversity, helped sway public opinion, Kato and others said.
    A recent poll of Tokyo residents conducted by the metropolitan government found 70% of respondents were in favour of same-sex partnerships.
    “I’m sure the Olympics had an impact since Tokyo has been thinking of what kind of legacy they should leave,” said LGBTQ rights activist Gon Matsunaka.
    Another incentive has been Tokyo’s interest in branding itself a major international centre and attracting foreign companies, many of which have greater emphasis on LGBTQ rights.
    As part of Governor Koike’s preparation for her announcement, she spoke with foreign business leaders, who said Tokyo was behind on that front, said Goldman’s Yanagisawa.
    “From my perspective as a Goldman Sachs employee, we want to attract international talent but Japan is always at a disadvantage,” he added.
    “We offer our own employee benefits on top of the national provisions to try to equalise the system but there’s a limitation to what is possible, and obviously not every company can do this.”
    Ordinary Japanese, such as business owner Yoko Namiki, applauded the move, calling it “revolutionary.”
    The next goal is making marriage possible, though this probably requires more local areas to adopt same-sex partnership regulations, creating enough pressure that the national government can no longer ignore it, activists say.
    “Of course I’m happy,” said lawyer Kato.    “But this is just one waypoint on a long road.    We need to use it to push towards actual marriage.”
(Additional reporting by Rikako Maruyama, Kohei Miyazaki and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

12/8/2021 Chilean Couple Ready To Tie The Knot After Same-Sex Marriage Approval by Esteban Medel
A couple reacts with their daughter outside the Congress as the Senate votes to approve
a same-sex marriage bill in Valparaiso, Chile December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
    SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chileans Javier Silva and Jaime Nazar, a couple for six years, have long wanted a wedding to complete their family and give them full legal status as parents, but conservative rules in the South American nation stymied the two men’s plans.
    Now, finally they can start sending out invitations.
    Chilean lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/love-is-love-chile-legalizes-same-sex-marriage-historic-vote-2021-12-07 on Tuesday following more than a decade of legal campaigns to change the rules as social mores shift in the largely Catholic country.    The bill itself was first sent to Congress in 2017.
    “Today is an exceptional day for us,” Silva, a 38-year-old industrial engineer told Reuters in Santiago, where the couple had recently arrived back with their newborn daughter Lola from a surrogate mother in Colombia.
    “Our daughter was born three weeks ago.    She arrived in Chile and, with the new law that has just been approved, for us it is the best scenario,” he said, adding the same-sex bill would allow both partners to be recognized as legal parents.
    “Before only one of us had the rights and responsibilities.”
    The couple, civil partners for three years, also have a 1-year-old son Clemente, from a surrogate mother.
    Civil unions have been permitted in Chile since 2015 but do not afford all the benefits of marriage, like the right to adoption.
    Silva’s partner Nazar, 38, a dental surgeon, said the change ensures a stable legal future for the family.
    “At last, we will be able to be recognized as a family before the state.    For many, it may sound very obvious and it does not matter, but for us it is a super important issue,” he said.
    “It’s for the protection of our children, for their future, not only for us but for all other families other there.”
(Reporting by Esteban Medel; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

12/8/2021 Depression Rising Among LGBT People In Conservative-Ruled Poland, Survey Finds by Alan Charlish and Felix Hoske
New Town Hall is illuminated in rainbow colours in a gesture of solidarity with the LGBT community during
International Day of Tolerance in Gdansk, Poland, November 16, 2020. Bartosz Banka/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS/Files
    WARSAW (Reuters) – The number of Polish LGBT people with depression rose by more than half between 2017 and 2020, according to a new study, amid what campaigners say is growing intolerance driven by the deeply conservative government.
    Gay rights have become a deeply divisive issue in predominantly Roman Catholic Poland.    Religious conservatives condemn what they say is an “ideology” bent on destroying the traditional family while more liberal Poles demand tolerance and equal treatment of what they regard as an oppressed minority.
    Some 44% of LGBT people reported experiencing serious symptoms of depression in 2019-2020, up from 28% in 2017, according to the study by the University of Warsaw’s Centre for Research on Prejudice commissioned by the Campaign Against Homophobia group, which was published on Tuesday.
    LGBT respondents said their families had become less tolerant of them during the period surveyed, with 61% of mothers and 54% of fathers accepting LGBT children in 2020, down from 68% and 59% respectively in 2017.
    The report was based on an online survey between December 2020 and February 2021 in which 22,883 people took part.
    Asked about the findings, cabinet minister Michal Wojcik told Reuters LGBT and heterosexual people were equal under Poland’s constitution, but the government was taking steps to stop “LGBT ideology” being imposed on schools.
    For 21-year-old artist Kosma Ugniewski, a lack of social acceptance of his homosexuality had contributed to his descent into depression, citing anti-LGBT rhetoric from conservative politicians.
    “(The government) is trying to put a mask on people’s faces, glasses through which society is supposed to look,” he told Reuters.    “People didn’t even have an opinion, but they listen to politicians and they get the impulses which politicians send.”
    The conservative nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government and its ally President Andrzej Duda made combating “LGBT ideology” a key plank of successful election campaigns in 2019 and 2020, and many local authorities declared themselves “LGBT-free zones.”
    “The picture is of a serious worsening of the mental health of LGBT people,” said Miroslawa Makuchowska, vice-president of the Campaign Against Homophobia.
    “Why is that happening?    Respondents to the survey reply directly – their situation at home, for example the family home, has got worse because there has been so much hate speech towards LGBT people,” she said.
    A separate poll conducted by state-funded research centre CBOS showed in September that Poles had grown more tolerant of LGBT people since 2019 and that support for same-sex marriages grew to 34%, the highest ever.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Felix Hoske, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Pawel Florkiewicz, editing by Mark Heinrich)

12/9/2021 California reveals plans to be abortion ‘sanctuary’ by Adam Beam ASSOCIATED PRESS
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With more than two dozen states poised to ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court gives them the OK next year, California clinics and their allies in the state Legislature on Wednesday revealed a plan to make the state a 'sanctuary' for those seeking reproductive care, including possibly paying for travel, lodging and procedures for people from other states.
    The California Future of Abortion Council, made up of more than 40 abortion providers and advocacy groups, released a list of 45 recommendations for the state to consider if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade – the 48-year-old decision that forbids states from outlawing abortion.
    The recommendations are not just a liberal fantasy.    Some of the state’s most important policymakers helped write them, including Toni Atkins, the San Diego Democrat who leads the state Senate and attended multiple meetings.
    Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom started the group and said some of the report’s details will be included in his budget proposal in January.
    'We’ll be a sanctuary,' Newsom said, adding he’s aware patients will likely travel to California from other states to seek abortions.
    'We are looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.'
    California already pays for abortions for many low-income residents through the state’s Medicaid program.    California is one of six states that requires private insurance companies to cover abortions, although many patients still end up paying deductibles and co-payments.
    But money won’t be a problem for state-funded abortion services for patients from other states.
    California’s coffers have soared throughout the pandemic, fueling a record budget surplus this year. Next year, the state’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts California will have a surplus of about $31billion.
    California’s affiliates of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, got a sneak preview of how people might seek abortions outside their home states this year when a Texas law that outlawed abortion after six weeks of pregnancy was allowed to take effect.    California clinics reported a slight increase in patients from Texas.
    Now, California abortion providers are asking California to make it easier for those people to get to the state.
    The report recommends funding, including public spending, to support patients seeking abortion for travel expenses such as gas, lodging, transportation and child care.
    It asks lawmakers to reimburse abortion providers for services to those who can’t afford to pay – including those who travel to California from other states whose income is low enough that they would qualify for state-funded abortions under Medicaid if they lived there.
    It’s unclear about how many people would come to California for abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.    But a recent report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, estimated about 1.3million more women would drive to California to seek abortions.
California already pays for abortions for many low-income residents
through the state’s Medicaid program. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

12/9/2021 Chile’s Pinera Signs Historic Same-Sex Marriage Bill Into Law by Natalia A. Ramos Miranda
Chile's government palace is illuminated with the LGBT flag colours after the Senate approved
a same-sex marriage bill in Santiago, Chile, December 7, 2021. Picture taken
December 7, 2021. Alex Ibanez/Courtesy of Chilean Presidency/Handout via REUTERS
    SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s center-right President Sebastián Piñera signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday, days after it was approved by Congress in a historic vote.
    The law “puts all love relationships between two people on an equal footing,” Piñera said at a ceremony at La Moneda government palace together with LGBT activists, representatives of civil society, legislators and officials.
    Lawmakers passed the law Tuesday, in a milestone for the conservative South American nation after a decade-long legal battle and with the country delicately poised ahead of a crossroads election this month.
    “All couples who so wish, regardless of their sexual orientation, will be able to live love, marry and form a family with all the dignity and legal protection they need and deserve,” Piñera said.
    Chile has long had a conservative reputation even among its strongly Roman Catholic peers in Latin America.    Still, most Chileans now support same-sex marriage and have shown signs of becoming more liberal on social and cultural issues in recent years.
    Civil unions have been permitted in Chile since 2015, which affords same-sex partners many but not all the benefits of married couples, like the right to adoption.
(Reporting by Natalia Ramos; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Frances Kerry)

12/12/2021 Gov. Newsom Uses Texas Abortion Ban As Model For Gun Control by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) speaks as he stands alongside Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.)
(R) during a press conference about Covid-19 vaccinations and housing for homeless veterans on
November 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
    On Friday, the Supreme Court allowed challenges to Texas’ abortion ban to move forward in the lower courts.    However, for the time being, the court also left Texas’ Heartbeat Act in place, which offers a $10,000 bounty for citizens who bring a successful lawsuit against anyone who “aides or abets” an abortion after six weeks.
    Newsom contended that if states can shield their laws from review by federal courts, then California would use that authority to ban semi-automatic weapons.    He said if Texas can empower people who have abortions then California would create a bill allowing private citizens to sue anyone who makes or sells assault weapons.
    As usual, Newsom gave no definition of an “assault weapon,” but said the legislation would create a so-called “right of action” allowing private citizens to seek injunctive relief and statutory damages of at least $10,000 per violation plus attorney fees, against anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells an assault weapon, ghost gun kit or parts.
    Newsom’s statement comes on the heels of Chief Justice John Robert’s opinion on the Texas law.
    Joining the courts three liberal judges on Friday, Robert’s dissented saying that the Supreme Court risks losing its own authority if it allows states to circumvent the court.
    He said the quote, “clear purpose and actual effect” of the Texas law was to nullify the court’s previous rulings on abortion and undermine the Supreme Court’s fundamental role.    However, its constitutionally relegating the rights back to the states to determine.
    More than two dozen states are reportedly prepared to ban abortion if the Supreme Court case focusing on Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15-weeks undermines Roe v. Wade, and Newsom has made it clear that he’s more than willing to make California a sanctuary for those seeking.    This past week, the California Future of Abortion Council announced a plan with 45 recommendations for the state to consider if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
    The plan includes funding for lodging and travel for people from other states seeking abortion.    The head of the council, Newsom himself, said details of the plan would be revealed in his budget proposal in January.
    In the meantime, California is likely to see a surge in out-of-state patients seeking the procedure.    CEO of Planned Parenthood California, Gilda Gonzales, estimated the number of people traveling to the state would rise nearly 3,000 percent.
[IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IN CALIFORNIA AND THEIR POPULATION IS A CONTINOUS NATURE OF ANTI-CHRISTIAN VALUES AND EVENTUALLY THEY WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO A HIGHER SOURCE THAN THE SUPREME COURT.].

12/12/2021 Pope Calls For ‘Serious International Dialogue’ To Defuse Ukraine Tensions by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis looks on as he holds a news conference aboard a plane on his flight
back to Rome after visiting Cyprus and Greece, December 6, 2021. Alessandro Di Meo/Pool via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, in his first comments on the tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, called on Sunday for serious international dialogue to resolve tensions and urged both sides to avoid an armed conflict.
    He said he was praying for “dear Ukraine, for all its churches and religious communities and for all of its people, so that tensions there are resolved through a serious international dialogue and not with weapons.”
    “Weapons are not the path to take.    May this Christmas bring peace to Ukraine,” the pope told thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his noon blessing and address.
    Ukraine is predominantly Orthodox Christian, with Catholics of either the Latin Rite or Byzantine rite making up about 10% percent of the population in the former Soviet republic.
    U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would pay “a terrible price” and face devastating economic consequences if it invaded Ukraine.
    Ukraine has accused Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops in preparation for a possible large-scale military offensive.
    Russia denies planning any attack and accuses Ukraine and the United States of destabilising behaviour, and has said it needs security guarantees for its own protection.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones and Frances Kerry)

12/13/2021 Vatican Office Apologises For Hurting Catholic LGBTQ Community by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Sister Jeannine Gramick and Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry,
which ministers to homosexual Catholics and promotes gay rights, pose in front of St. Peter's Square after
Pope Francis' weekly audience, February 18, 2015. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A Vatican department has apologised for “causing pain to the entire LGBTQ community” by removing from its website a link to resource material from a Catholic gay rights advocacy group.
    The website of the Synod of Bishops, which is organising a two-year global consultative process ahead of a major meeting in Rome in 2023, issued the apology and restored the link over the weekend after criticism on social media.
    The link was to a webinar from New Ways Ministry, a U.S.-based group which ministers to LGBTQ Catholics who feel excluded or marginalized by the Church.
    The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals should be treated with respect and that while homosexual tendencies are not sinful, homosexual actions are.    The about face on the website was the latest occasion the Vatican has sent mixed signals about the role Catholic gays can have in the Church.
    Thierry Bonaventura, communications manager for the synod, took personal responsibility for removing the links, saying on the synod’s website that it was due to “internal procedural reasons.”    He did not elaborate.
    “This brought pain to the entire LGBTQ community, who once again felt left out,” he wrote.    “I feel that I must apologise to all LGBTQ people and to members of the New Ways Ministry for the pain caused.”     The 2023 synod may change the way Roman Catholic Church makes decisions and leave its mark long after Pope Francis’ pontificate is over.
    Proponents see the initiative called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” as an opportunity to change the Church’s power dynamics and give a greater voice to lay Catholics, including women, and people on the margins of society.
    Conservatives say the three-stage process of consultation – local, national and international – is a waste of time, may erode the hierarchical structure of the 1.3 billion member Church and in the long run could dilute traditional doctrine.
    The New Ways Ministry webinar of more than an hour was hosted by a professor form Fordham University in New York. Its topics included how LGBTQ Catholics can contribute to the consultation process ahead of the 2023 meeting Rome.
    New Ways Ministry executive director Francis DeBernardo said the Vatican website removed the link earlier this month and kept it off for about a week.
(This story was refiled to remove extraneous words from paragraph 2)
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Giles Elgood)
[THE WORLD IS ATTACKING THOSE WHO OPPOSE SODOM AND GOMORRAH MORALITY AS SEEN ABOVE AND BELOW AND IS THE POPE APOLIGIZING TO THEM.].

12/13/2021 Hungary’s Orban Banking On Anti-LGBT Campaign In Tough Re-Election Bid by Krisztina Than
A security officer stands guard near a huge rainbow baloon put up by members of
Amnesty International and Hatter, an NGO promoting LGBT rights, at Hungary's parliament in protest
against anti-LGBT law in Budapest, Hungary, July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Marton Monus/Files
    KECSKEMET, Hungary (Reuters) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban is casting himself as the defender of traditional Hungarian values against “LGBT ideology” for the 2022 election in which his party may be vulnerable for the first time to a newly united opposition.
    Identity politics, especially a hardline anti-immgration line, and disarray among Orban’s centrist and liberal-left rivals proved instrumental in the absolute majority won by his conservative nationalist Fidesz party in the 2018 election.
    But with a border fence having relegated migrants to a secondary issue, and many Hungarians now preoccupied with bread-and-butter issues including soaring pandemic-driven inflation, the opposition has come together and is running just ahead of Fidesz in some polls.
    To win again next year, the key for Orban will be getting all of Fidesz’s faithful concentrated in smaller towns and villages back to the ballot box, with a referendum on “LGBT propaganda” likely on the same day as an added fillip.
    Yet with inflation running at a 14-year high of 7.4%, Orban will also need some of the undecided voters whom he is targeting with large tax cuts for families, massive pension hikes, a 20% minimum wage rise and a fuel price cap.
    “The role of the anti-LGBT campaign could be mainly to give another strong reason to existing Fidesz supporters to vote for this government, cementing the core camp in its convictions,” said Andras Biro-Nagy, director of think tank Policy Solutions.
    But, alluding to soaring prices amid a still omnipresent pandemic, he added: “This campaign has its limits and I think in the coming months Fidesz will not succeed in elevating this topic to the most important theme occupying people’s minds.”
    The anti-LGBT campaign, which the European Union executive has deplored as discriminatory, escalated in June when the Fidesz-dominated parliament passed a law banning the use of materials seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change at schools, citing the need to protect children.
    Blue government billboards then sprang up around the country trumpeting the question: “Are you afraid your child could be exposed to sexual propaganda?
    Orban, nailing his electoral colours to gender and sexuality issues, told a Fidesz congress last month: “We will not give up the right to defend our borders…We insist marriage in Hungary is between a man and a woman, a father is a man and a mother is a woman…and they should leave our children alone.”
    In a pitch to the insular nationalism of Fidesz’s popular base, Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told website Index.hu on Monday that LGBT rights groups “have huge influence in Brussels.”    Gulyas accused the European Commission of blackmailing Budapest over the release of EU economic recovery funds because of its June school legislation.
    The Commission’s approval of recovery funds for Hungary and Poland is stalled because the EU says it believes ruling parties in both countries are undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations.
RESONATING WITH THE BASE
    The government’s publicity campaign has been splashed across print and online media, radio, television and billboards.
    It featured in a government survey in which, according to officials, 97% of 1.423 million people who answered questions on issues from tax cuts to immigration welcomed the legislation limiting “sexual propaganda” targeting schoolchildren.
    Orban, first elected in 2010, has used such “national consultation” surveys to underpin his populist grip on Hungary’s political agenda and keep his electoral base engaged.
    In the town of Kecskemet east of Budapest, the anti-LGBT campaign and promised referendum have resonated with tradition-minded residents, while alarming the local LGBT community.
    “This is a really good thing … because, really, are we supposed to educate our children to become homosexuals?” said Jozsef Farkas, 69, who said he would vote for Fidesz again.
    In the referendum, Hungarians will be asked whether they support the holding of sexual orientation workshops in schools without parental consent, and whether they believe gender reassignment procedures should be “promoted” among children.
    They will also be asked whether media content that could affect sexual orientation should be shown to children without restrictions.
LGBT WORRIES
    Eszter Fejes, 36, an LGBT activist in Kecskemet, said she had faced the campaign up close, bumping into a blue government poster next to the entrance into her apartment block every day.
    “Obviously I started to think…about what my family is making of this, or me or this whole issue?” she said.
    “But I am more angry from the community standpoint: in general LGBT people are going down an invisible slide when it comes to public opinion…People who are a lot more vulnerable than me are getting into a difficult situation now.”
    Fejes said she knows of gay people who do not come out in Kecskemet but rather lead a double life, spending time in Budapest where anonymity is easier.
    Over the past decade of Fidesz dominance, Orban has appealed to conservative Hungarians who believe their country is in a struggle to protect its Christian identity – from Muslim immigrants to so-called “gender and LGBT ideology” allegedly foisted on the central European country by Brussels.
    But a recent survey by Policy Solutions found the high cost of living to be the No. 1 voter issue – for 47% of Hungarians – followed by low wages and inadequate public healthcare.
    Even for Fidesz supporters, LGBT “propaganda” ranked only 10th as among the issues most troubling them, with migration higher up among the top concerns at 17%.
    Fidesz swept to re-election in 2014 with 45% of votes cast on party lists and scored a two-thirds majority again in 2018.
    Now, however, it confronts a united opposition alliance under Peter Marki-Zay, a practicing Catholic, father of seven and political outsider who vows to scrap the anti-LGBT law that has drawn condemnation by human rights groups and Brussels.
($1 = 324.7200 forints)
(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

12/13/2021 Pope Sends Condolences Over ‘Immense Tragedy’ Of U.S. Tornadoes
Pope Francis looks on as he holds a news conference aboard a plane on his flight back to Rome
after visiting Cyprus and Greece, December 6, 2021. Alessandro Di Meo/Pool via REUTERS/Files
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the families of victims of tornadoes that killed dozens of people in the United States and he praised the efforts of rescue workers, the Vatican said on Monday.
    A message sent in the pope’s name said he was saddened to learn of the devastating impact of “this immense tragedy” and was praying for all those it touched.
    The message, sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State to Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed “gratitude for the tireless efforts of the rescue workers and all those engaged in caring for the injured, the grieving families and all those left homeless
    The tornadoes ripped through six states, causing deaths in at least five of them.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

12/14/2021 Vatican Corruption Trial Mired As Judge Orders New Long Adjournment by Philip Pullella
Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who has been caught up in a real estate scandal, pauses as he speaks to the
media a day after he resigned suddenly and gave up his right to take part in an eventual conclave to elect
a pope, near the Vatican, in Rome, Italy, September 25, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/Files
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A corruption trial related to the Vatican’s purchase of a luxury building in London was adjourned for nearly six weeks on Tuesday, another long delay underscoring how it remains mired in its opening stages five months after it started.
    “We are still in an open construction site,” an exasperated court president Giuseppe Pignatone said, reflecting impatience with the pace of proceedings, during a hearing that lasted only 10 minutes.
    The trial started in July with 10 defendants but four were later removed because of irregularities in the investigative phase.    The court then ordered the prosecution to question the four again and either re-indict or drop charges.
    But the prosecution told the court on Tuesday that it had been able to question only one and hoped to be able to complete its work by Jan. 20.
    Cardinal Angelo Becciu, a once powerful Vatican official, has been the only defendant to attend every hearing.br>     The prosecution on Tuesday also rejected assertions by the defence that not all the evidence was readily available for consultation, saying it had been deposited with the court.
    Pignatone adjourned the trial until Jan. 25 but said that he expected even that hearing to be “merely transitory and I hope for the last time,” indicating that the trial would not get going in earnest until some time in February.
    Tuesday’s hearing was the fifth and shortest since the trial started on July 27 in a large office space in the Vatican Museums.    The large number of defendants and lawyers made the regular Vatican courtroom too small to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
    The trial revolves mostly around the purchase by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of a commercial and residential building at 60 Sloane Avenue in London’s South Kensington, one of the wealthiest districts in the British capital.
    The prosecution has accused Becciu, other former Vatican officials or employees and outside middlemen involved in the deal of embezzlement, abuse of office, extortion and fraud, among other charges.    They all have denied wrongdoing.
    The Secretariat of State sank more than 350 million euros into the London investment, according to Vatican media.    The Vatican is now in the final stages of selling the building.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by William Maclean)

12/14/2021 Hungary’s Anti-LGBTQ Law Breaches International Rights Standards – European Rights Body
A demonstrator holds the LGBT flag during a protest against a law that bans LGBTQ content in schools and
media at the Presidential Palace in Budapest, Hungary, June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo/Files
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s law that bans teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues in schools violates international human rights standards, the Venice Commission, a panel of experts of the human rights body Council of Europe said on Tuesday.
    The legislation, which passed in June and has caused anxiety in the LGBTQ+ community and triggered sharp criticism from the European Union, bans the use of materials seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change at schools, ostensibly as a measure to prevent child abuse.
    The constitutional law experts of the Venice Commission concluded that the amendments are not in accordance with international human rights standards and fail to ensure that children get access to objective and non-biased information on gender identity and sexual orientation.
    “On the contrary: the amendments contribute to creating a “threatening environment,” where LGBTQI children can be subject to health-related risks, bullying and harassment,” the panel said in its assessment.
    “The amendments leave space only for one-sided and biased teaching, opening doors to stigmatisation and discrimination of LGBTQI people,” the panel added.
    The law was proposed by the government of nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban who is casting himself as the defender of traditional Christian values against “LGBT ideology” for the 2022 election in which his Fidesz party may be vulnerable for the first time to a newly united opposition.
    Orban’s anti-LGBT campaign escalated in July and August with government billboards that sprang up around the country trumpeting the question: “Are you afraid your child could be exposed to sexual propaganda?
    His ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat government, which faces a tough election next year, says LGBTQ rights and other such social issues are matters for national governments to decide.    It says the law aims to protect children, not target the LGBTQ+ community.
(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

12/15/2021 Larry Nassar Victims Reach A $380M Settlement by OAN Newsroom
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 15: U.S. Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and NCAA
and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols leave after testifying during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the
Inspector General’s report on the FBI handling of the Larry Nassar investigation of sexual abuse of U.S. gymnasts,
on Capitol Hill, September 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images)
    The USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have agreed to a $380 million payout to the sexual abuse survivors of Larry Nassar.
    On Monday, an Indianapolis Federal Bankruptcy Court confirmed the settlement of more than 500 survivors against the former team doctor.    The settlement also agreed to designate some of the board seats of the U.S. Gymnastics and Paralympic Committee to survivors aimed at protecting athletes from further abuse.
    This comes six years after criminal charges were brought against Nassar.    After the settlement was announced, gymnast Rachel Denhollander expressed her feelings on Twitter, saying “this chapter is finally closed, now rebuilding can begin.”
    The attorney for several of the victims said in a statement that an excellent settlement for the survivors was reached and every American should be proud of the women who spoke out.    The suit covered claims brought by Nassar’s most high-profile sexual abuse victims.
    The survivors include Olympic Gold Medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.    The three women testified during a Senate hearing in September, blasting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Olympic officials for not taking the abuse seriously.
    Biles became emotional during the hearing, saying she not only blames Nassar, but also the Olympic organization.
    “To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.    USA Gymnastics and its Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge,” stated Biles.
    Raisman recalled the FBI ignoring her plea to be interviewed about the abuse she endured.
    “It disgusts me that we are still fighting the most basic answers and accountability over six years later,” said Raisman.    “The FBI failed to interview pertinent parties in a timely manner.    It took over 14 months for the FBI to contact me, despite my many requests to be interviewed by them.”
    Maroney then recalled the night she first talked to the FBI about what Nassar had done to her.
    “I then told the FBI about Tokyo, the day he gave me a sleeping pill for the plane ride, to then work on me later that night.    That evening I was naked, completely alone, with him on top of me…molesting me for hours,” Maroney stated.    “I told them I thought I was going to die that night because there was no way he would let me go, but he did.    I told them I walked the halls of the Tokyo hotel at 2 a.m. at only 15-years-old.
    I began crying at the memory over the phone and there was just dead silence
.”
    Nassar was the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team doctor for 18 years.    In 2018, he was sentenced up to 175 years in prison for molesting female gymnasts under his care.

12/16/2021 Salvadoran Drag Queen Emerges As A Colorful Presidential Critic by Wilfredo Pineda and Nelson Renteria
Marvin Pleitez aka Lady Drag rests at his sister Erika Pleitez's stall during a visit
to downtown San Salvador, El Salvador November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
    SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – Promoting bitcoin as he consolidates power, El Salvador’s popular President Nayib Bukele has mostly swatted away his traditional political opponents with ease.    But a new critic in colorful wigs and platform heels has proven harder to ignore.
    Lady Drag, the alter ego of actor Marvin Pleitez, since September has emerged as an unconventional Bukele adversary, drawing media attention with eye-catching opposition to what her creator sees as the 40-year-old leader’s autocratic tendencies.
    When Bukele’s signature bitcoin experiment kicked off on Sept. 7, making the cryptocurrency legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar, Lady Drag took to the streets with other protesters — but dressed as a drag super hero, with a cape, mesh leggings and black boots.
    Painted on her chest was a large “B” for bitcoin with a thick black line through it, reflecting skepticism about the cryptocurrency, although Bukele’s personal approval ratings are among the highest in the Americas.
    “Bitcoin is an issue for the country because it also affects all of us,” Pleitez told Reuters, saying there were “lots” of issues the public needed to be aware of.
    Bukele’s office did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
    A 39-year-old openly gay university drama instructor, Pleitez said he voted for Bukele in 2019, when the former San Salvador mayor ended a longstanding two-party duopoly.
    But Pleitez’s doubts about the media-savvy Bukele began taking shape when he shut down a government sexual diversity office.    And they grew when the president early last year ordered soldiers into Congress to pressure stunned lawmakers on a vote.
    Though Pleitez had taken part in protests before, it was only once he began appearing in drag that “opportunistic” media began to focus on the striking figure cut by Lady Drag, he said
    The roots of Pleitez’s alternate persona go back to his youth when, while working as a waiter at a gay bar, he was exposed to the art of drag during nights at dance clubs.
    In 2007, his first drag persona won a local contest under the name Lady Evance Versace Garuch.    But Pleitez hung up his heels for more than a decade before a friend last year encouraged him to revive his drag performances for local clubs.
    The pandemic soon curtailed access to clubs, and Pleitez channeled his drag persona into activism, driven by his distaste for the drift of Salvadoran politics.
    Growing up in a poor neighborhood in San Salvador, the capital, Pleitez recalled sifting through trash looking for toys and knocking on the doors of homes in wealthier neighborhoods to beg for food.
    Discovering a passion for theater after accompanying a friend to a workshop, Pleitez later studied performing arts in Cuba.
    “Simply put, I’m going to keep taking to the streets and keep doing what I can do from my own artistic angle,” said Pleitez.    “No one is helping me, no one gives me any money.”
(Reporting by Wilfredo Pineda and Nelson Renteria; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Leslie Adler)

12/17/2021 Migrants Help Pope Francis Celebrate 85th Birthday by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis greets migrants from refugee camps in Cyprus who are being resettled in Italy, as part of an
initiative to assist in their relocation, at the Vatican, December 17, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A group of migrants from refugee camps in Cyprus who are being resettled in Italy at Pope Francis’ expense helped the pontiff celebrate his 85th birthday on Friday.
    “You saved us,” an African boy told the pope during a meeting in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace a day after the 12 arrived from Cyprus.
    They wished him a happy birthday and gave him a painting made by an Afghan refugee showing migrants crossing the sea.
    They come from Congo Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Somalia and Syria and are the first of 50 people from camps in Cyprus that the pope has pledged to provide for.    The rest are due to arrive in the next few months and will be looked after and integrated into Italian society by the Catholic Sant’ Egidio charity group.
    The first group included doctors and information technology workers in their native countries, among others.
    The pope will provide for 50 migrants to resettle in Italy as part of a deal between Italy, the Vatican and Cyprus to commemorate his trip earlier this month to the Mediterranean island.
    Francis, who was elected the first pontiff from Latin America in 2013, has made defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his pontificate.
    Ethnically-divided Cyprus, the closest European Union member state to the Middle East, has struggled to manage an influx of migrants and refugees in the past two years.
    Many asylum seekers access the southern government-controlled areas through the “Green Line” splitting the island after previously arriving in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in its north.
    The pope also visited Greece during the Dec. 2-6 trip, including a stop at a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos.
    During a previous visit in 2016, he left Lesbos, then at the frontline of Europe’s migration crisis, taking 12 Syrian refugees with him.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Susan Fenton)

12/18/2021 Vatican Tightens Screws On Conservatives Over Traditional Latin Mass by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis leaves after holding an ecumenical prayer with migrants at the Parish
Church of the Holy Cross, in Nicosia, Cyprus, December 3, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Saturday warned conservative Roman Catholics who have balked at Pope Francis’ decision to restrict the old traditionalist Latin Mass that they were sowing division and engaging in “sterile polemics.”
    The Vatican department overseeing sacraments and liturgy issued a directive in response to bishops’ requests for clarification following a document in July in which Francis overturned decisions by his two predecessors and tightened access to the Mass.
    Since July some conservatives, including bishops, have openly defied the pope, resulting in the latest chapter of what some have dubbed the Church’s “liturgy wars.”
    Religious conservatives in the United States in particular have used the Latin Mass debate to align with politically conservative media outlets to criticise the pope over a host of other issues such as climate change, immigration and social justice.
    “As pastors we must not lend ourselves to sterile polemics, capable only of creating division, in which the ritual (the Mass) itself is often exploited by ideological viewpoints,” Archbishop Arthur Roche, head of the department, wrote in an introductory letter to the responses to 11 questions.
    Saturday’s document said conservatives who favour the Latin Mass cannot use such a sacred part of Catholicism to deny the “validity and legitimacy” of the reforms of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, which included an opening to the modern world and dialogue with other religions, particularly Judaism.
    It also made clear that pre-Vatican II Latin rites should not be used for other sacraments, such as confirmation.
    Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society in Britain said in a tweet that the document “will have serious negative consequences” and drive Catholics who want to remain in unity with their bishop to join extremist groups.
    Before the Council, Catholic Mass was an elaborate ritual led in Latin by a priest facing east with his back to the congregation.    Vatican II modernised the liturgy, including more active participation by the congregation, and had the priest face the faithful to pray in their local language.
    Traditionalists, who are a small but very vocal minority in the 1.3 billion-member Church, have rejected the new Mass, which is known as the Novus Ordo and entered into general use in the early 1970s.    Many missed the Latin rite’s sense of mystery and awe and the centuries-old sacred music that went with it.
    Both former Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II had relaxed restrictions on the Latin Mass in an olive branch to conservatives.
    In re-introducing the restrictions in July, Francis said his predecessors’ leniency, while well-intentioned, had been “exploited” for ideological reasons.
(Reporting by Philip PullellaEditing by Frances Kerry)

12/18/2021 Top African Cardinal In Vatican Abruptly Offers Resignation – Sources by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Cardinal Peter Turkson attends a news conference for the presentation of Pope Francis' new encyclical titled "Laudato Si
(Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home", at the Vatican June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Cardinal Peter Turkson, seen by some as a candidate to become the first African pope in about 1,500 years, has abruptly offered his resignation from a key Vatican department, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
    Turkson, 73, from Ghana, has been a key adviser to Pope Francis on issues such as climate change and social justice, and is the only African to head a Vatican department.
    According to the Vatican sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the pope has yet to decide whether to accept the resignation.
    Turkson heads a large Vatican department known as the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.    It was formed in 2016 to merge four offices that dealt with issues such as peace, justice, migration, and charities.
    One source said Turkson, who is about two years shy of the mandatory retirement age of 75 for bishops, had become “fed up” with internal disputes.
    Another source said Turkson had told staff he would say more after the pope made his decision.
    His departure would leave the Vatican with no African heading a major department, following the retirement of Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea earlier this year.
    Turkson’s department underwent an external review headed by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago at the pope’s request earlier this year.
    His offer to resign follows two high-level departures from the department over the summer, one because of retirement and another sudden and unexplained.
    The Catholic Church had several popes of north African origin early in its history, the last in the 5th century.
    Even if he leaves his Vatican post, until he turns 80 Turkson would still be eligible to enter a conclave of cardinals to elect the next pope after Francis dies or retires, according to Church rules.
    Turkson’s decision to offer his resignation was first reported by the conservative Italian blog messainlatino.it.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Mark Potter)

12/18/2021 Illinois governor repeals parental notification of abortion
    CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Friday to repeal a requirement that parents or guardians be notified when a minor is seeking an abortion, calling it an effort to safeguard reproductive rights that are being stripped and threatened elsewhere.    Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the measure repeals a 1995 act requiring that a parent or guardian be notified at least 48 hours in advance when a minor 17 or younger seeks an abortion.    The earlier law did not require consent, which is required in nearly half the states.
[WHEN DID DEMOCRATIC STATES DECIDE THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BLOCK INFORMATION ABOUT A MINOR FROM THEIR PARENTS WHICH ARE SEVERE DECISIONS THAT A MINOR NEEDS PARENTAL PERMISSIONS FOR SUCH THINGS AND IF THIS IS TRUE THESE PEOPLE DESERVE THE TITLE AS THE SCARLET WOMAN.].

12/19/2021 Domestic Violence Against Women ‘Almost Satanic,’ Pope Francis Says by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis arrives to meet children assisted by volunteers of Santa Marta institute during an
audience in Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican December 19, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis has said that men who commit violence against women engage in something that is “almost satanic.”
    He made the comment, some of the strongest language he has used to condemn such violence, during a programme broadcast on Sunday night on Italy’s TG5 network in which he conversed with three women and a man, all with difficult backgrounds.
    “The number of women who are beaten and abused in their homes, even by their husbands, is very, very high,” Francis said in answer to a question by a woman named Giovanna, a victim of domestic violence.
    “The problem is that, for me, it is almost satanic because it is taking advantage of a person who cannot defend herself, who can only (try to) block the blows,” he said.    “It is humiliating.    Very humiliating.”
    Giovanna said that she had four children to care for after they escaped from a violent home.
    Since the COVID-19 pandemic began nearly two years ago, Francis has several times spoken out against domestic violence, which has increased in many countries since lockdowns left many women trapped with their abusers.
    Police figures released last month showed that there are about 90 episodes of violence against women in Italy every day and that 62% were cases of domestic violence.
    Francis said women who were beaten and abused had not lost their dignity.    “I see dignity in you because if you didn’t have dignity, you wouldn’t be here,” he told Giovanna.
    Turning to other examples of human misery, he listened to a homeless woman speak of life on the street and a man trying to get back on his feet after 25 years in jail.
    Francis has set up services in the area around the Vatican to give Rome’s homeless healthcare, bathing, and hair-cutting facilities.
    In 2020, when a palazzo just off St. Peter’s Square that was once a convent became vacant he ordered it to be turned into a homeless shelter, overruling suggestions that it be converted into a luxury hotel.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by William Maclean)

12/21/2021 Hungary To Defy EU Court Ruling Over Migration Policy, Orban Says
Migrants walk along a road near the Hungary-Serbia border
in Horgos, Serbia, January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Marko Djurica/Files
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) -Hungary will not change its controversial immigration laws despite a European court ruling, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday, stepping up his nationalist campaign ahead of a closely-fought national election due early next year.
    Orban said migration and LGBTQ rights, two issues which have caused conflict with the European Union, would dominate the agenda as his right-wing Fidesz party prepares for its first contested election after three landlslides since 2010.
    The row over democratic standards has led to a freeze in EU recovery funding to Hungary, complicating Orban’s path to re-election because the economy relies heavily on the funds to finance investment and boost growth.
    The 58-year-old premier faces a united opposition as inflation hits at a 14-year-high, the economy is headed for a slowdown, and the budget deficit has surged to record levels due to high pre-election spending.
    Earlier this month, Hungary’s Constitutional Court avoided ruling on the primacy of European Union law in deciding on a disputed government move against immigration, staving off a deeper crisis after a similar Polish challenge sent shock waves through Europe.
    The court had considered a challenge by Orban’s government to an EU court finding that Budapest broke EU laws by deporting refugees over the border into Serbia.
    The court said Budapest had the right to apply its own measures in areas where the EU has yet to take adequate steps for common implementation of EU rules as well as to safeguard its national identity, which Orban took as vindication of his policies.
    “The government decided that we will not do anything to change the system of border protection,” Orban told a news conference.    “We will maintain the existing regime, even if the European court ordered us to change it."
    “We will not change it and will not let anyone in.”
    Orban, whose anti-immigration stance boosted support for Fidesz after the 2015 migrant crisis, also said he would pursue another contested issue, a referendum on LGBTQ rights in the run-up to the election.
    Orban casts himself as the defender of traditional Hungarian values against “LGBT ideology.”
    In the referendum, Hungarians will be asked whether they support the holding of sexual orientation workshops in schools without parental consent, and whether they believe gender reassignment procedures should be “promoted” among children.
    Orban also told the news conference that Hungary had ordered 9.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, days after detecting its first cases of Omicron.
    The EU commission has already approved Hungary joining the EU procurement for Pfizer vaccines.
(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs and Krisztina Than; editing by Jason Neely and Giles Elgood)

12/21/2021 Spend On Education, Not Weapons, Pope Says In Annual Peace Message by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis reacts as he meets children assisted by volunteers of Santa Marta institute during an audience in Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican December 19, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/Files
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Nations should divert money spent on armaments to invest in education, Pope Francis says in a yearly peace message, decrying growing military costs at the expense of social services.
    In his message issued on Tuesday for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace, which is celebrated on Jan. 1,     Francis also called for a better balance between a free market economy and the need to help the needy and protect the environment.
    He dedicated about a third of the four-page message to education, saying there had been a “significant reduction” in education and training spending worldwide while military expenditure had increased beyond the levels at the end of the Cold War and “seem certain to grow exorbitantly.”
    He did not give any sources for the statistics.
    “It is high time, then, that governments develop economic policies aimed at inverting the proportion of public funds spent on education and on weaponry,” he said in the message, which is sent to heads of state and international organisations.
    “The pursuit of a genuine process of international disarmament can only prove beneficial for the development of peoples and nations, freeing up financial resources better used for health care, schools, infrastructure, care of the land and so forth,” he said.
    The proportions of military and education spending differ from country to country, but positions on what to increase and what to cut often follow partisan lines.
    A poll by the Pew Research Center in 2019 showed that in the United States, 84% of Democrats favoured more spending on education versus 56 percent of Republicans and that 56% of Republicans wanted more military spending as opposed to 26% of Democrats.
    Francis has called for disarmament, a ban on nuclear weapons and has said that military funds should also be diverted into the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and research to prevent future pandemics.
    “Despite numerous efforts aimed at constructive dialogue between nations, the deafening noise of war and conflict is intensifying.    While diseases of pandemic proportions are spreading, the effects of climate change and environmental degradation are worsening, the tragedy of hunger and thirst is increasing,” he said in the message.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Barbara Lewis)

12/22/2021 World’s Children Bearing Brunt Of COVID Pandemic, Vatican Studies Say by Philip Pullella
A nine-year-old girl receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children against the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a vaccination event for children at the
Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, December 18, 2021. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/Files
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The world’s children are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, with marked increases in violence, abuse, child labour, lost schooling, and malnutrition, two Vatican studies said on Wednesday.
    The studies, based on academic, scientific, United Nations data and other source material, were produced by the Vatican’s development office and the Pontifical Academy for Life.
    “Reports of violence, abuse, and exploitation of children have sharply increased since the pandemic began.    Poorer communities disproportionately bear these adversities,” one of the studies said.
    They said that as of September, more than five million children were estimated to have lost a parent, custodial grandparent or secondary caregiver to the pandemic.    This translated to a child losing a parent or caregiver every 12 seconds.
    The pandemic reversed an encouraging trend in poverty reduction, plunging 150 million more children into poverty and increasing the number of children in child labour to 160 million.
    Rising food insecurity led to between six and seven million new cases of acute malnutrition in children under five, translating to about 10,000 deaths a month in 2020, 80 percent of them in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Child malnutrition was also increased by the loss of some 39 billion school meals, which even in some developed countries are the only good meal they receive.
    The rate of dropping out of school was increasing significantly in the global south and an estimated 10 million children worldwide may never return to school.
    Child marriages were increasing as the poorest of families sought to relieve financial pressures.
    The studies called for the equitable distribution of COVID vaccines, which Pope Francis has championed, more government spending on children, and keeping schools open as much as possible.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by David Holmes)

12/22/2021 Pope And Moscow Envoy Discuss Next Meeting With Russian Orthodox Patriarch by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis, left, reaches to embrace Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill
after signing a joint declaration at the Jose Marti International airport in
Havana, Cuba, Friday, February 12, 2016. REUTERS/Gregorio Borgia/Pool
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis and a senior leader of the Russian Orthodox Church held talks on Wednesday to discuss plans for a second meeting between the pontiff and Russian Patriarch Kirill.
    Francis and Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of external relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, met for about an hour to discuss the possible date and place, among other issues.
    The meeting between Francis and Kirill in Cuba in 2016 was the first by a pope and a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since the great schism that split Christianity into Eastern and Western branches in 1054.
    Hilarion told Russia’s RIA news agency that he hoped their next meeting would be next year and that he and the pope discussed possible dates and places but that nothing had been set in stone.
    Pope Francis said this month that he was willing to go anywhere, including Moscow, for his next meeting with Kirill so they could discuss things “brother to brother.”
    World Orthodoxy numbers around 250 million members as opposed to about 1.3 billion for the Roman Catholic Church.    The Russian Orthodox Church, with about 100 million members, is the largest in World Orthodoxy.
    The Eastern and Western Churches have declared a willingness to work towards unity but they are still far apart theologically and over what role a pope would play in an eventually reunited Church.
(Additional reporting by Alexandr Marrows in Moscow; Editing by Alison Williams)

12/22/2021 All Europe Must Share Responsibility For Migrants, Pope Says by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis walks with Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza after the weekly general audience
at the Paul VI Audience Hall, at the Vatican, December 22, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – All European countries must share the responsibility for taking in migrants and helping them integrate, Pope Francis said on Wednesday, urging nations to open “the door of the heart.”
    Speaking at his weekly general audience, Francis, who has made the defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy, said he was able to touch their “wounded humanity” during his trip to Cyprus and Greece earlier this month.
    “I also was able to see how only a few European countries are bearing the greater part of consequences of the phenomena of migration in the Mediterranean area,” he said.
    “In reality, it calls for a shared responsibility on the part of all and from which no country can shrink, because it is a problem of humanity,” he said.
    Frontline countries including Cyprus, Italy, Greece and Malta have long called for other countries to share responsibility for migrants crossing the Mediterranean from north Africa.
    “These people have to be rescued but it is enormously unfair that it should only be Italy just because it’s the country of first landing in Europe,” Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said last month as 800 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean.
    About 54,000 migrants have arrived in Italy this year, up from about 30,000 last year.
    Twelve migrants from refugee camps in Cyprus who are being resettled in Italy at Pope Francis’ expense arrived last week, the first batch of a total of 50 expected from the Mediterranean island.
    Francis said he hoped more European countries would allow local Church groups to bring in more refugees and migrants and help them integrate.
    “You need only to open a door, the door of the heart.    Let us not be remiss this Christmas,” Francis said.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Barbara Lewis)

12/23/2021 Pope Shakes Up Vatican Development Office, Accepts African Cardinal’s Resignation by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Cardinal Peter Turkson attends a news conference for the presentation of Pope Francis'
message for 2022 World Day of Peace at the Vatican, December 21, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a prominent African cardinal who was a key adviser on climate change and social justice as part of a rare shake up of an entire Vatican office.
    The Vatican said on Thursday that Cardinal Peter Turkson, was leaving the large department, officially known as the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.    All other superiors also had offered their resignations.
    The department was formed in 2016 to merge four offices that dealt with issues such as peace, justice, migration, and charities.    It was plagued by management problems and turf wars from the start, Vatican sources said.
    The Vatican has not commented on the timing of Turkson’s departure or the claims of dysfunction in his department.
    Turkson, seen by some as a candidate to become the first African pope in about 1,500 years, offered his resignation again last week, following an automatic procedural offer at the end of his term in August.    One source said he had told some staff he was “fed up.”
    Turkson, 73, from Ghana, represented the Vatican at high-profile international venues such as the World Economic Forum at Davos.
    His departure leaves the Vatican with no African heading a major department, following the retirement of Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea earlier this year.
    A senior Vatican source said the pope was expected to give Turkson another top Vatican job.
    The department underwent an external review headed by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago at the pope’s request earlier this year.
    The shake-up follows two high-level departures from the department over the summer, one because of retirement and another sudden and unexplained.
    Turkson will be eligible until he turns 80 to enter a conclave of cardinals to elect the next pope after Francis dies or retires, according to Church rules.
    The Catholic Church had several popes of north African origin early in its history, the last in the 5th century.
    The Vatican said the department would be run on an interim basis by Cardinal Michael Czerny, an immigration specialist, and Sister Alessandra Smerilli, an economist.
    Both were already members of the department.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Toby Chopra)

12/23/2021 Be Humble, Pope Tells Vatican Administrators In Toned-Down Christmas Greeting by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis leads a special audience to deliver a Christmas message to Vatican
workers at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, December 23, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis told Vatican administrators in his annual Christmas greetings on Thursday to be humble but spared them the blistering critique of the bureaucracy he has served up in previous years.
    In an address to the Curia, as the Catholic Church’s central bureaucracy is known, he used the word “humility” nearly 30 times, but his approach was notably softer than in the past.
    He said the administrators, including cardinals and bishops as well as lower-level staff, should not remain “closed in their own little world,” form cliques, or feel they are indispensable.
    They should, instead, stick to a sober lifestyle as they help him administer the 1.3-billion-member Roman Catholic Church from its headquarters in the Vatican.
    “Only by serving, and by seeing our work as service, can we be truly helpful to everyone.    We are here – I myself before anyone else – to learn how to kneel and adore the Lord in his humility, not other lords in their empty trappings,” he told the administrators gathered in a Vatican hall.
    “The moment comes in each individual’s life when he or she desires to set aside the glitter of this world’s glory for the fullness of an authentic life, with no further need for armour or masks,” he said.
    The pope has used the occasion in the past to list what he called the “illnesses” and “diseases” of the Vatican’s central bureaucracy.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

12/23/2021 ‘Everything To Me’: Chile’s LGBTQ Community Relieved After Boric Election Win by Anthony Esposito
Ian Harting, a dancer, choreographer and gay man, poses in his home, in
Santiago, Chile December 21, 2021. Picture taken December 21, 2021. REUTERS/Ailen Diaz
    SANTIAGO (Reuters) – For Ian Harting, a 29-year-old dancer and choreographer, voting in Chile’s deeply divisive presidential election last weekend felt like a matter of life and death for him as a gay man.
    The emphatic victory of progressive leftist Gabriel Boric over ultra-conservative Jose Antonio Kast left him elated.
    Kast’s surprise rise in the polls – winning November’s first round vote – stirred alarm among Chile’s LGBTQ community, feminists and abortion rights activists, among others.
    The 55-year-old lawyer has opposed gay marriage, abortion and the emergency contraception “morning-after pill,” and he defended the 1973-1990 dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.
    During the campaign, he threatened to eliminate Chile’s Women’s Ministry before backtracking amid a barrage of criticism.
    “As gay man I have my partner, and I had never really been scared for my life, for my rights,” said Harting.    “The presidential race in Chile was a reminder of that fear.”     Harting said Kast’s messages fueled hate in those who wanted to mistreat, marginalize and discriminate minorities.
    Kast’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
    Following his election win, Boric, who at 35 becomes Chile’s youngest democratically-elected president, spoke to a sea of supporters who lined the streets of downtown Santiago: block after block of them waving pride, feminist and the indigenous Mapuche flags.
    “Celebrating this victory meant everything to me!” said Harting, who went with his partner and friends to hear Boric.    “It really tied into my life, my safety, the safety of my boyfriend, the safety of my friends, the safety of all the people I love in this world.”
    Boric laid out broad plans to unite the nation and expand rights, mentioning indigenous rights, gender equality and the environment.    He also promised fiscal responsibility and to nurture the economy.
    Paola Fernandez, 39, whose daughter is homosexual, said she was afraid of Kast’s hard-right policies and conservative social agenda.
    “Chile has already experienced a dictatorship and we could not live through one again,” she said, hugging her daughter.
    “My father-in-law was persecuted and exiled so we couldn’t let a candidate like Jose Antonio Kast come to power.”
MORE STREET MOBILIZATION
    A native of Punta Arenas in Chile’s far south, Boric as a student led the Federation of Students at the University of Chile in Santiago.    He rose to prominence organizing protests in 2011 demanding improved and cheaper education.     That was a precursor to a social uprising in 2019 that paved the way for hard-fought gains in rights and lit the fuse for the rise of the left and the redrafting of Chile’s dictatorship-era constitution.
    After a decade-long legal battle, Chilean lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage this month, a milestone for a country that has long had a conservative reputation even compared with its Catholic Latin American peers.
    The rallies however often devolved into clashes with police, riots and looting, which served as a rallying cry for many Chileans frustrated with the movement and was fodder for Kast’s tough law-and-order stance.
    Activists interviewed by Reuters said they would continue marching to press for further progress.
    “What we’ve achieved we owe to the mass struggle, to occupying public spaces, actively mobilizing,” said Pamela Valenzuela, spokesperson for the March 8 Feminist Coordinator (CF8M).    “So it’s clear to us that we are going to continue mobilizing from a position of autonomy.”
    The hundreds of thousands of Chilean women who hit the streets in recent years were key to achieving laws to penalize femicide, legalize abortion, and give women an equal voice in drafting the new constitution.
FREE, LEGAL AND SAFE ABORTION
    Chile in 2017 legalized abortion for women under conditions where their life was in danger, a fetus was unviable or when a pregnancy had resulted from rape.
    But efforts to expand legal access have faced an uphill battle.    In November, Chile’s Lower Chamber of Congress rejected a bill that proposed legalizing termination of pregnancy up to 14 weeks.
    “The president-elect in his program expressly says it: free, legal and safe abortion,” said reproductive rights activist Gloria Maira.    “It has been our feminist slogan for decades.”
    Despite Boric’s promises of change, pushing through contentious policies could prove difficult with Congress evenly split between left and right after the November elections.
    “President Boric’s government will not be an easy one,” said Maira.
    During the campaign, Boric said Chileans who had faced discrimination would be “protagonists” of his government.
    Gay rights activist Victor Hugo Robles said the appointment of an openly gay or trans minister would be a major statement.
    A gesture of that magnitude would “symbolize change, freedom: revolution for the Chile of today and the Chile of the future,” he said.
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

12/24/2021 Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Diagnosed With COVID-19
FILE PHOTO: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the official delegation of the
Orthodox Christian Church speak to reporters following their visit with U.S. President Joe Biden
at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide and based in Istanbul, has tested positive for COVID-19, the Patriarchate press office said on Friday.
    In a statement, the press office said 81-year-old Patriarch Bartholomew was fully vaccinated against the disease and only experiencing mild symptoms.
(Reporting by Murad Sezer; Editing by Alison Williams)

12/25/2021 Shun Polarisation, Try Dialogue To Heal Divided World, Pope Says At Christmas by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis stands on the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to deliver his traditional Christmas
Day Urbi et Orbi speech to the city and the world from the Vatican, December 25, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -Pope Francis in his Christmas message on Saturday decried increasing polarisation in personal and international relationships, saying only dialogue can resolve conflicts ranging from family feuds to threats of war.
    In his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message, he called on individuals and world leaders to talk to each other rather than dig in their heels, a distancing he said has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Our capacity for social relationships is sorely tried; there is a growing tendency to withdraw, to do it all by ourselves, to stop making an effort to encounter others and do things together,” he said from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on a wet and windy Christmas in Rome.
    “On the international level too, there is the risk of avoiding dialogue, the risk that this complex crisis will lead to taking shortcuts rather than setting out on the longer paths of dialogue.    Yet only those paths can lead to the resolution of conflicts and to lasting benefits for all,” he said.
    Francis, who turned 85 last week, listed conflicts, tensions or crises in Syria, Yemen, Israel, The Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Ukraine, Sudan, South Sudan and elsewhere.
    “We continue to witness a great number of conflicts, crises and disagreements,” he said, speaking from the same balcony where he first appeared to the world as pope after his election on March 13, 2013.
    “These never seem to end; by now we hardly even notice them. We have become so used to them that immense tragedies are now being passed over in silence; we risk not hearing the cry of pain and distress of so many of our brothers and sisters,” he said, speaking to an unusually small crowd reduced by COVID-19 restrictions and the weather to only several thousand.
    He asked God to “give serenity and unity to families,” praising those who strive to keep them and communities together in such divisive times.
    “Let us ask him for the strength to be open to dialogue.    On this festive day, let us implore him to stir up in the hearts of everyone a yearning for reconciliation and fraternity,” he said.
    He used the word “dialogue” 11 times in a speech of little more than two pages as he spoke to people huddled under rain parkas and umbrellas.
    Francis asked God to “prevent fresh outbreaks of a long-festering conflict” in Ukraine, which has accused Russia of massing tens of thousands of troops in preparation for a possible large-scale military offensive.
    Russia denies planning any attack and accuses Ukraine and the United States of destabilising behaviour, saying it needs security guarantees for its own protection.
    He asked people not to be indifferent to the plight of migrants, refugees, the displaced, political prisoners and women victims of violence and urged leaders to protect the environment for future generations.
    In his Christmas Eve Mass on Friday night in St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis said that people who are indifferent to the poor offend God, and urged all to “look beyond all the lights and decorations” and remember the neediest.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

12/25/2021 Look Beyond The Lights And Remember The Poor, Pope Says On Christmas Eve by Philip Pullella
Pope Francis celebrates Christmas Eve Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica
at the Vatican, December 24, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
(In paragraph 6, fixes typo to say “than,” not “that)
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, leading the world’s Roman Catholics into Christmas, said on Friday that people who are indifferent to the poor offend God, urging all to “look beyond all the lights and decorations” and remember the neediest.
    Francis, ushering in the ninth Christmas of his pontificate, celebrated a solemn vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for about 2,000 people, with participation restricted by COVID-19 to about a fifth of the size of pre-pandemic years.
    Minutes before the Christmas Eve Mass started, Italy reported a second successive record daily tally of COVID-19 cases, with new infections hitting 50,599.
    Francis, wearing white vestments, wove his homily the around the theme that Jesus was born with nothing.
    “Brothers and sisters, standing before the crib, we contemplate what is central, beyond all the lights and decorations, which are beautiful. We contemplate the child,” he said in the homily of the Mass con-celebrated with more than 200 cardinals, bishops and priests.    All but him wore masks.
    Francis, who turned 85 last week, said the baby Jesus born in poverty should remind people that serving others is more important than seeking status or social visibility or spending a lifetime in pursuit of success.
    “It is in them (the poor) that he wants to be honoured,” said Francis, who has made defence of the poor a cornerstone of his pontificate.
    “On this night of love, may we have only one fear: that of offending God’s love, hurting him by despising the poor with our indifference.    Jesus loves them dearly, and one day they will welcome us to heaven,” he said.
    He quoted a line from a poem by Emily Dickinson – “Who has found the heaven – below – Will fail of it above” – and added in his own words: “Let us not lose sight of heaven; let us care for Jesus now, caressing him in the needy, because in them he makes himself known.”
    Saying that working people – the shepherds – were the first to see the baby Jesus in Bethlehem, Francis said labour had to have dignity and lamented that many people die in workplace accidents around the world.
    “On the day of Life, let us repeat: no more deaths in the workplace! And let us commit ourselves to ensuring this,” he said.
    The United Nation’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that there are more than a million work-related fatalities every year.
    On Saturday, Francis will deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing and message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Nick Macfie)

12/26/2021 Protect Kentucky Access and Yes to Life
    Kentuckians will be voting in November in a statewide ballot referendum to determine if the state constitution is amended to say there is no right to an abortion in Kentucky — and two new groups want to influence that answer.    Protect Kentucky Access is a political issues committee formed in April by its chairwoman Tamarra Wieder, the Kentucky state director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.
    In July, Yes to Life was founded as a counter political issues committee to get voters to answer ‘yes’ on the referendum, with Kentucky Right to Life executive director Addia Wuchner as its chairwoman.
    Protect Kentucky Access has raised $35,000 — entirely consisting of one contribution from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America — and has not made any significant expenditures to date.
    Planned Parenthood operates one of the only two clinics in Kentucky that perform abortion services, both located in Louisville.
    Yes to Life raised nearly $25,000 in its first three months of operation, made up almost entirely from four $6,000 contributions from the Family Foundation of Kentucky, Kentucky Right to Life Association, Kentucky Baptist Convention and Catholic Conference of Kentucky — all longtime advocates for abortion restrictions in Frankfort.
    While abortion is legal in Kentucky and would remain so even if the constitutional amendment passes — because of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week in a case that may overturn that landmark decision legalizing the procedure in every state.
    In addition to the proposed amendment stating there would be no right to an abortion in Kentucky, the state legislature also passed a “trigger law” in 2019 that would immediately ban abortion in Kentucky if the Roe v. Wade decision is overturned.
    Reach reporter Joe Sonka at jsonka@courierjournal.com and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka.    Support strong local journalism by subscribing today at the top of this page.
Then-state Rep. Addia Wuchner of Boone County is now chairwoman of Yes to Life, a counter political issues committee
to get voters to answer ‘yes’ on the abortion referendum, MATT STONE/LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL
Tamarra Wieder is the Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. PROVIDED
Dischinger

12/27/2021 California Female Prisoners Plead To Remove Biological Men From Prisons by OAN Newsroom
SANTA BARBARA, CA – JUNE 12: The Santa Barbara County Detention and Correctional Facility,
one of two jails where singer Michael Jackson could be sent if the deliberating jury declares
him guilty in his child molestation trial, is seen on June 12, 2005 in Santa Barbara, California.
Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring
to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
    Biological women in California’s prisons are asking for biological men to not be allowed in the female prisons.
    According to recent reports the women sent a letter expressing their concerns about male prisoners being transferred under the guise of being transgender.
    The letter follows the passing of senate bill 132 which is designed to allow transgender inmates to be transferred to the prison of their choice.
    According to the reports 99,000 people are imprisoned in California with an estimated 1,500 of them identifying as transgender.

12/28/2021 India Refuses To Renew Foreign Funding OK To Charity; Religious Protests by Manoj Kumar and Rupam Jain
FILE PHOTO: Nuns belonging to the global Missionaries of Charity, walk past a large banner of Mother Teresa
ahead of her canonisation ceremony, in Kolkata, India September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Indian government on Monday “refused” to renew a permission that is vital for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity (MoC) to be able to secure foreign funds, cutting off a key source the charity has depended on to run its programs for the impoverished.
    Nobel-laureate Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun who died in 1997, founded the MoC in 1950.    The charity has more than 3,000 nuns worldwide who run hospices, community kitchens, schools, leper colonies and homes for abandoned children.
    The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused permission to the charity under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) on Saturday after it received some “adverse inputs,” a government statement said.
    “While considering the MoC’s renewal application, some adverse inputs were noticed,” the home ministry said, without providing details.
    The ministry also rejected an earlier allegation of the West Bengal state chief minister Mamata Banerjee that the bank accounts of the charity were frozen.
    Later, the MoC in a statement confirmed their FCRA application was not renewed and that it has asked its centres not to operate any foreign contributions accounts until the matter is resolved.
    The move comes as hardline Hindu outfits affiliated to Modi’s party have accused the MoC of leading religious conversion programmes under the guise of charity by offering poor Hindus and tribal communities food, medicine, money, free education and shelter.    MoC has rejected these allegations.
    Earlier, chief minister Banerjee of West Bengal, where MoC has its headquarters, wrote in a tweet that she was shocked to hear that at Christmas, the Union Ministry had frozen all the bank accounts of the MoC in India.
    “Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food & medicines.    While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised,” said Banerjee, an opposition leader and vocal critic of the Modi government.
    The federal government said the accounts of MoC were frozen by the bank based on the request of the charity itself.
    Vicar General Dominic Gomes of the Archdiocese of Calcutta said the freeze of the accounts was “a cruel Christmas gift to the poorest of the poor.”
    The row comes days after hardline Hindu vigilante groups disrupted Christmas church services in parts of India, including in some states ruled by Modi’s party ahead of local elections in the coming months.
ATTACKS ON MINORITIES
    Since Modi came to power in 2014, right-wing Hindu groups have consolidated their position across states and launched attacks on minorities, claiming they are trying to prevent religious conversions.
    Christians and other critics note Christians represent only 2.3% of India’s 1.37 billion people, while Hindus are the overwhelming majority.    They repudiate the excuse given by some Hindu groups of preventing conversions as a reason for violence against Christians.
    The Hindu newspaper on Monday reported disruption of Christmas celebrations at the weekend and last week, including the vandalising of a life-size statue of Jesus Christ at Ambala in Haryana, a northern state governed by Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
    It said activists burnt a model of Santa Claus and chanted anti-Christmas slogans outside a church in Varanasi, Modi’s parliamentary constituency and Hinduism’s holiest city.
    Elias Vaz, national vice-president of the All India Catholic Union, condemned the latest incidents.
    “The strength of India is in its diversity and the people who have done this at Christmas are the real anti-nationals,” Vaz said.
    Contacted by telephone, the federal and state governments declined to comment on the protests.
    Several Indian states have passed or are considering anti-conversion laws that challenge the constitutionally protected right to freedom of belief in the country.
(Reporting by Manoj Kumar, Saurabh Sharma, Subrata Nagchoudhury and Rupam Jain, editing by Barbara Lewis and Bernadette Baum)

12/30/2021 Exclusive-Historic Conclave: Chinese Bishops, Priests Brief Hong Kong Clerics On Xi’s View Of Religion by Greg Torode
FILE PHOTO: Catholic priests leave the church after the episcopal ordination of
Bishop Stephen Chow in Hong Kong, China December 4, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo
    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese bishops and religious leaders briefed senior Hong Kong Catholic clergymen on President Xi Jinping’s vision of religion with “Chinese characteristics” in an unprecedented meeting organised by the mainland’s representative office in the city, according to four clerics.
    The clerics who attended or had knowledge of the Oct 31 meeting described it as Beijing’s most assertive move yet in its attempts to influence Hong Kong’s diocese, which is answerable to the Vatican and includes some high-ranking leaders who have long been defenders of democracy and human rights in the semi-autonomous territory.
    While Hong Kong’s Catholic leaders have met their mainland counterparts individually in the past, it was the first time the two sides had met formally – and the first time mainland religious officials had instigated such a meeting, the clerics said.
    Despite the meeting’s symbolism, the mainland officials and religious leaders generally avoided an overtly political message, they said.
    The meeting, which has not been revealed publicly, also sheds light on what some religious figures, politicians and diplomats describe as the expanding role of Beijing’s Central Government Liaison Office in Hong Kong, which formally represents the mainland in the city but has traditionally kept a low profile.
    The Liaison Office and officials from the State Administration of Religious Affairs monitored the Zoom sessions as three leading bishops and about 15 religious figures from mainland China’s state-backed official Catholic church and about 15 senior clergymen in Hong Kong participated in the day-long meeting.
    The Vatican regards Hong Kong as a single diocese so it has only one bishop.
    The Liaison Office and the State Administration of Religious Affairs did not respond to requests for comment.
    Susanne Ho, a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese, told Reuters the diocese “does not disclose details of private meetings.”
    Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni had no comment.
NO MENTION OF XI
    Without mentioning Xi or issuing any instructions or orders, the mainland speakers described how Xi’s policy of “sinicization” aligned with long-term Vatican policies of inculturation – adapting Christianity in traditional, non-Christian cultures, two of the clerics said.
    Xi has been an active proponent of sinicization, setting out policies to foster religions with what he calls “Chinese characteristics” and closer ties to the party and state.    It includes tying religions more closely to Chinese culture, patriotism and goals of the ruling Communist Party and state to achieve Xi’s “Chinese dream.”
    “This was just the first step and I felt they knew that they could not come into this too heavy or dogmatically,” said one cleric.br>     “We all know the word sinicization carries a political agenda behind it, and they didn’t have to spell that out.”
    “Xi was the elephant in the room,” the second cleric said.
    The Hong Kong side spoke broadly about the long-standing policy of inculturation, avoiding giving any political offence and any topics that could invite mainland interference, the two clerics said.
NEW BISHOP’S ORDINATION
    The meeting came just weeks ahead of the ordination this month of new Hong Kong Bishop Stephen Chow, a moderate Vatican appointment that followed two failed attempts to fill the post after Beijing had sought to influence the decision, amid other pressures.
    The Hong Kong side was led by a senior priest, Reverend Peter Choy, a figure widely seen by local Catholics as close to Beijing and, earlier, its preferred choice for bishop.
    Chow, Bishop-elect at the time, attended the event only briefly after it was opened, which may give him room to manoeuvre in future, three of the clerics said.
    Acting Bishop Cardinal John Tong opened and closed the event, they said.
    A diocese spokesperson said Choy, Chow and Tong had no comments.
    While some of Hong Kong’s government and commercial elites are Catholic and pro-Beijing, including the city’s leader Carrie Lam, other Catholics have long been active in the pro-democracy and anti-government activist movements.
    Earlier this month, Xi told a conference in Beijing, described in official reports as the National Work Meeting on Religious Affairs, that all religions in China needed to embrace the Communist Party, expanding on one of his long-held policies.
    “(We) must maintain the party’s essential direction on religious work, we must continue our country’s direction for the sinicization of religion, we must continue to take the large numbers of religious believers, and unite them around the party and the government,” Xi said.
REMAINING STRONGHOLD
    Some diplomats and activists say they are closely watching developments following Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong in June 2020.
    They see Hong Kong’s broad religious freedoms and traditions, like the rule of law, as one of the remaining strongholds of the “one country, two systems” model under which Britain handed its former colony back to Chinese rule in 1997.
    The Basic Law, the mini-constitution that governs “one country, two systems,” explicitly provides for freedom of conscience and broad religious freedom, including the right to preach in public.
    The church in Hong Kong operates essentially on pre-1997 lines, staying in close touch with the Vatican and hosting an extensive foreign missionary presence.
    A deal struck between China and the Holy See in 2018 to ease long-running friction by giving the Chinese government a significant say in the Vatican’s appointment of bishops does not apply to Hong Kong, Vatican officials say.
    Chinese and Hong Kong officials have repeatedly said that the city’s wide-ranging freedoms, including that of religious belief and affiliation, remain intact.
    The October meeting ended with a loose understanding by both sides that future sessions should be held but no dates were set, three clerics said.
    “The pressure is building on us in Hong Kong…some of us see (sinicization) as code for Xi-nification,” one of them said.    “We are going to have to be clever to resist.”
(Reporting by Greg Torode; Additional reporting by David Stanway, Philip Pullella, James Pomfret, Jessie Pang, and Sara Cheng; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

    This page created on 10/1/2021, and updated each month by 10/31/2021, 11/30/2020, 12/31/2021.

Please close this window when done, or select the previous tab or back button to return to previous page.
Or return to the Table of Contents - Chapter Eight or
Or return to the Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.
Or return to the Beast That Came Out Of The Sea or
2011-2022 ????? Unknown future of the Sixth group of Twelve years
    This link will return you to Scarlet Woman 2021 July-September.