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06.10.2016 Democracy Now!

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U.N. Court Rejects Marshall Islands’ Suit Against Nuclear Powers
(Image by Democracy Now!)

The United Nations International Court of Justice has rejected the Marshall Islands’ bid to sue the United States and other nuclear powers for violating the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The Marshall Islands chain, which includes Bikini Atoll, was the subject of dozens of U.S. nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s, which have left lasting health and environmental impacts.

The Pacific Island nation filed the suit in 2014, but it was rejected Wednesday after the court said it did not have jurisdiction over the case.

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foto di Marginal Mennonite Society.
Marginal Mennonite Society

On this date in 1419 (July 30th), an event occurred in ‪#‎Prague‬, Czech Republic, that became known to history as the “First Defenestration of Prague.” A ‪#‎Hussite‬ priest named Jan Zelivsky was marching with his congregation to Prague’s New Town Hall (pictured) to confront members of the town council. The Hussites were agitated about corruption within the Catholic Church, as well as increasing inequalities between the peasants and the ruling class. As Zelivsky’s group neared their destination, someone threw a stone from one of the New Town Hall windows. The people in the streets reacted swiftly. They stormed the building, broke into the council chamber, and threw several council members out the windows, to their deaths. Thus began the Hussites Wars, which lasted for the next couple decades.

Established in 1990 the GANDHI INFORMATION CENTER has been freely available for Education and Culture. It has more than a hundred members at home and abroad, amongst them well-known scientists, artists and authors such as the Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Count Serge Tolstoy (1911-1995) and Professor Joseph Needham (1901-1995).

The Gandhi Information Center became well-known all over the world on account of the distribution of the Manifesto against Conscription and the Military System. This Manifesto revives attention to two manifestoes signed by Gandhi, Einstein, Buber, Freud and Tolstoy’s assistants Birukoff and Bulgakov against military training of youth. In the meantime this Manifesto has been translated into 25 languages and has been signed by more than 200 outstanding personalities from over thirty different countries.

Since 1990 the Gandhi Information Center for Research and Education on Nonviolence, has organised educational activities with publications about the Life and Achievement of Mahatma Gandhi. The Gandhi Information Center has made contacts all over the world and contributes to an international network.

The nonviolent, active resistance as developed and lived by Gandhi is to serve as focus and support. Connected with this the active members wish to document the origins of Nonviolence in multifold traditions (e.g. the nonviolent doctrine of Tolstoy in Russia, the Civil Disobedience of Henry David Thoreau, the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King in the USA, the Social Ethics of John Ruskin in England, the Arc communities of Lanza del Vasto in France as well as the reasons of conscience of religious conscientious objectors in Austria and Germany).

Satyagraha was the title under which the Gandhi Information Center has recently published information for its members. The first two issues were dedicated to the commemoration of Gandhi’s 125th birthday and our correspondences to the followers of Leo Tolstoy in Russia.

Support the Gandhi Information Center, P.O.Box (Postfach) 210109, 10501 Berlin

Our e-mail-address is: mkgandhi@snafu.de

Our internet website is: http://home.snafu.de/mkgandhi

The annual membership is 180 Euro, reduced membership is 60 Euro.

Financial support of the volunteer work of our Center is requested for account number 495283-106, Postbank Berlin, Bank Code 100 100 10 – – BIC: PBNKDEFF – IBAN: DE77 1001 0010 0495 2831 06

This manifesto has been translated into more than 25 languages and it has been signed by many signatories, among them four Nobel Peace Laureates. It is aimed to have the Manifesto signed by more individuals who are publicly active in Peace, Ecology and Human Rights issues or in Scientific and Cultural spheres.

Please address your signatures (with name, address and date) to the:

Gandhi Information Center, P.O. Box (Postfach) 210109, D-10501 Berlin

We have signated on internet web site and you?

World day for the abolition of the death penalty

Friday 8th October:

• 20:30 Faenza  • Palazzo Manfredi, Piazza del Popolo 31, Sala Bigari

 

A strange fruit, a bitter crop.

The death penalty in the USA and Japan

and strategies towards the abolition.

 

Conversation with Yukari Saito

(member of the Japanese abolitionist association Forum 90 and of the centre of documentation “Semi Sotto la Neve”)

and Claudio Giusti (co-founder of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty)

Organized by Claudio Giusti, Claudia Caroli, Alessia Bruni, Cristiana Bruni in collaboration with Group Italy 193 of Amnesty International Imola and with Legambiente Faenza

 

 

 

Friday 8th October:

• 10:00 Faenza • Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche viale Baccarini 19

A strange fruit, a bitter crop.

The death penalty in Italy, the US and Japan

 

Talks by:

Christine Weise

President of the Italian Section of Amnesty international

“The death penalty in the world “

 

Alessandro Luparini

from Centro Archivi del Novecento of Ravenna

“The abolition of death penalty in the Kingdom of Italy (1861-1890)”

 

Claudio Giusti

member of  Comitato Scientifico dell’Osservatorio sulla Legalità e i Diritti

“United States of America: from lynching to the death penalty”

 

Yukari Saito

member of the Japanese abolitionist association Forum 90

and of the documentation centre Semi Sotto la Neve

and Claudia Caroli

Secretariat of the abolitionist association PeACE

“The Japanese noose: a knot  of power difficult to loose”

 

Readings, dances and music by:

Roberto Bartoli, Marco Boschi, Valentina Caggio, Andrea Pedna,

Paola Sabbatani, Renato Ciccarelli, Sabrina Ciani, Fabrizio Morselli

Organized by Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche of Faenza (MIC)

together with Claudio Giusti, Claudia Caroli, Alessia Bruni, Cristiana Bruni.

 

 In cooperation with:

Dott. Claudio Giusti

Via Don Minzoni 40, 47100 Forlì, Italia 
Tel.  39/0543/401562     39/340/4872522
e-mail  giusticlaudio@alice.it

http://www.osservatoriosullalegalita.org/special/penam.htm

 

Sunday, April 4

Easter Sunday
Watchword for the Week — Why do you look for the living among the dead?
Jesus is not here, but has risen. Luke 24:5

Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2,14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Luke 24:1-12

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in
my mouth. Psalm 34:1

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great
mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

O living Christ, because you live, we live. Because you love us, so too
can we love. The whole of our joy is in you, and we bow down before you
with praise and thanksgiving. In your holy, risen name. Amen.

Loving Father

God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.

We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.

Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.

Help us in Your new year to fret less and laugh more.

To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.

To teach others to love by loving them.

Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.

So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.

That we could share Love with others.

Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,

in the chriping of sparrows in our backyards,

in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.

Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,

so that we may know You better and better.

We rejoice in the world You loved into being.

Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.

We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.

Forgive us for falling short this past year.

We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.

We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what’s ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..

In Jesus name,

Amen.

Sunday, December 13

Third Sunday of Advent

Watchword for the Week
Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Luke 3:8

Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

Bless the Lord, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with
steadfast love and mercy. Psalm 103:2,4

These are the words of the holy one, the true one: I am coming soon; hold fast
to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. Revelation 3:7,11

May we experience our salvation and call to love one another, O Lord, our
Redeemer, through the birth, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In his
name we pray. Amen.

THE INFINITE

“Always to me beloved was this lonely hillside

And the hedgerow creeping over and always hiding

The distances, the horizon’s furthest reaches.

But as I sit and gaze, there is an endless

Space still beyond, there is a more than mortal

Silence spread out to the last depth of peace,

Which in my thought I shape until my heart

Scarcely can hide a fear. And as the wind

Comes through the copses sighing to my ears,

The infinite silence and the passing voice

I must compare: remembering the seasons,

Quiet in dead eternity, and the present,

Living and sounding still. And into this

Immensity my thought sinks ever drowning,

And it is sweet to shipwreck in such a sea.”

 (trad. di Henry Reed, 1950).

Bible text: I Corinthians 12:4, 8-13
Speaker: Rev. Dr Ofelia Ortega

Introduction

The preparation of the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Canberra, Australia, demanded a poem which could provide a poetic setting for the theme of the Assembly – “Come Holy Spirit – Renew the whole Creation”. T.K. Thomas, who worked at the Department of Publications of the World Council of Churches, called me up and said “Ofelia, we need a Latin American poem about the Holy Spirit”. Then I remembered a poem by Pedro Casaldáliga, and immediately sent him a telegram to Matto Grosso in Brazil, asking his permission to publish it. The answer did not take long. “Use the poem. It makes me happy to know that it will serve as inspiration for the Assembly. With ecumenical hugs.. Pedro Casaldáliga”.

Of course, Casaldáliga would never make claims concerning his author rights in a case like this. So we used the poem in most of the publications for Canberra.

To the Wind of the Spirit

That blows everywhere,

Free and making others free

Free and bringing Liberation,

Victorious over the Law,

And over Sin and Death.

 

To the Wind of the Spirit

That swept into Jesus

And sent him to the poor

To announce good news for them

And freedom for the captives.

 

To the Wind of the Spirit

That worked on Pentecost

Removing prejudice and interests

And fear away from the Apostles,

Opening wide the doors of the cenacle

So that the community of Jesus’ followers

Could always be open to the world

Free in their word,

Coherent in their witness,

Unbeatable in their hope.

 

To the Wind of the Spirit

That always sweeps away fears from the Church

And sets all powers on fire

Except the power for fraternal service

And purifies the church through poverty and martyrdom.

 

To the Wind of the Spirit

That brings arrogance, hypocrisy and lust to ashes.

And feeds the flames of justice and liberation

And makes the soul of the Kingdom.

So that we are Wind in the Wind, sisters and brothers.

 

There is a wonderful text in the letter of Paul to the Galatians – “The Spirit He gave us”.

This text is really excellent because it is evident that Pauline communities are not built on words, speeches and theoretical teachings. The communities had the experience of the Holy Spirit, and Paul appeals to that experience in order to lay the groundwork for the doctrine, being aware that “he who saw cannot but believe”.

In words of John Bluck1; “…at the Canberra Assembly the Spirit was invoked to break the churches out of their old theological captivities”.

In his opening address the General Secretary Emilio Castro expressed:

“By invoking the Holy Spirit

we affirm communion, justice,

solidarity and accountability as

against the pragmatic notions

of instrumentally, efficiency and profitability”2

And in his sermon Jacqueline Grant reminded us the words of Jesus… “Peace be with you”, but she added, that Jesus did not stop there, this was followed by the directive “receive the Holy Spirit”. The comments of Jacqueline Grant are very significant in the process of our “Decade to Overcome Violence”… Perhaps Jesus was saying to the disciples that the Holy Spirit is required to help us to discern peace. We know peace only when we know the Holy Spirit”3

I- Responding to tensions in the Corinth Community

Let’s now look at our biblical text: I Corinthians 12:4, 8-13.

In I Corinthians Paul, responds with concern to the news he has got from the Church in Corinth. Such news come from two sources and they reflect two different perspectives. In the first place Paul says that some people have communicated with him by the word of mouth ((1:11; 5:1; 11:18) and also by means of a letter (7:1) That official letter was asking for guidance “about the spiritual gifts”.

Paul uses his habitual concentric model to give the answer in three chapters. The problem of the spiritual gifts is developed in two parts (chapters 12 and 14), illuminated by a fundamental reaction (chapter 13), placed between these two parts.

There is also much tension in the new Christian community itself; rural groups, scandalous behaviour, and discrimination of the poorer and vulnerable people.

In this pastoral letter there are two basic axes that go through Pauls’ answers to these situations: the axis of the scatological future that sharpens conscience and inspires perseverance and the axis of the solidarious love that moves and guides Christians to devote themselves to the others. All these ideas are summed up in Jesus Christ ( 1:30).

It is interesting to observe the educational-pastoral strategy used by Paul – “you know” (12.12) to be able to clearly explain the denunciation and the teaching this is going to give them.

The letter establishes the exact criterion to evaluate the manifestations of the Charismatic nature. That is why it solemnly declares – “This is why I make known unto you…”( 12:3). Obviously the criterion of authenticity is the Christological one.

II-The Charismata come from the same source

To deal with the rivalries among the people with different gifts, Paul wants to very clearly establish that all these gifts come from the same source.

Paul repeats this truth three times, “the Spirit is the same”, “the Lord is the same”, “God is the same”.

This is a guide for the right definition of “charisma”. “It is a manifestation of divine grace, a gift bestowed irrespective of merit or spiritual maturity, an endowment sometimes called “a gift of the Spirit” granted by the Triune God to individuals to enhance, the life, worship and service of the people of God”4

Therefore, all the gifts come from the same source. None of them can be despised.

In her book “Pastoral Problems in Corinth” Irene Foulkes states that : “Paul expresses a triplet reiteration of diversity and he uses three different terms to talk about the variety of gifts given by God to the community of believers.

  • carisma (12:4)
  • ministeries, services
  • operations, activities.

It is significant that all the Pauline discussions of “charismata” are within the context of the metaphor of the Church as the Body of Christ (Rom 12:4 – 8); I Cor 12:4 – 11; Eph 4:4 -16).

And the summary in verse 7 adds the expression “manifestation of the Spirit”5

“The “charismata” are understood as graciously bestowed on individuals (indicative of diversity) given according to God’s covering will, but intended to meet the needs of the one Body (indicative of unity)6.

III- The diversity of Gifts

In verses 4.8-11 Paul presents the principle of the diversity of gifts and the universality of distribution.

The Spirit gives to ” one…. to another….and to another….” The central idea is that the Spirit provides all the people of God with the vital energies they need for their development and training.

This diversity of capabilities comes from the same Spirit that distributes them among all the believers (12:11)

In the Corinthian community , there are some people looking for extraordinary charismata for their own satisfaction rather than for community building. Besides, this search for charismata is selfish, without regarding its integration with other charismata and going over love. They have all the characteristics that would be present in the Gnostic groups of the II Century . Charisma is at the service of power and of personal benefit. It is possible to identify the minority of wise, powerful and noblemen of the Christian community in Corinth with these groups of enthusiastic Charismatics and future Gnostics.

Paul’s position towards them is coherent with his taking sides with the poor majority of the community.

In the first place, Paul recognizes the diversity of charismata, but the Spirit is the same and all the charismata get integrated like the members of the same body, nobody can despise the other because they have an apparently superior charisma (chapter 12). Love is , after all, the fundamental charisma . Without it all the other charismata are nothing. (chapter 13)

The most important charismata are the ones that build the community, that is why prophesy is superior to the language gift.

No charisma can be practiced for your own benefit, without order and for oppressing the majority in the community, particularly the poor and most vulnerable people. (chapter 14)

For Paul it is better to say five words where the sense is clear than ten thousand in unintelligible tongues (I Cor 14:19) .

The enthusiastic and impassioned search for extraordinary charismata for one’s own benefit can also take place in our communities at present.

Paul’s priority option comes out of love and for the edification of the needy and poor majority in the community.

Conclusion

I´d like to finish with some words espressed by His Holiness Aram I, Catholic of Cilicia mentioned in his book “For a Church Beyond its Walls”

“Being different is God’s gift, and we must accept God’s gift in humility and gratitude. By defining ourselves in isolation from the “other”, or in opposition to the “other”, we reject the “other”… if we accept the “otherness” of the other, we can built a harmonious community by transforming mutual hostility into mutual tolerance, and mutual rejection, into mutual acceptance”.7

It is what he called the “dignity of the difference”.

The message of this pastoral letter help us to understand that the tension between unity and diversity is mediated by love (I Cor 13), and the purpose for which their charisma are given is the Common Good (I Cor 12:7), care for one another (vers. 25-26) and encouragement and consolation (I Cor 14.3) and edification (v.5)

The statement that was approved in the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Canberra in 1991 affirmed that “in communion diversities are brought together in harmony as gifts of the Holy Spirit contributing to the richness and fullness of the church of God”.

And now, allow me to conclude with this prayer.

“God the Father, creation of justice and mercy

God of Son, bringer of change and hope:

God the Holy Spirit, source of inspiration and help:

We ask you blessings on us, your pilgrim people,

divided by our traditions,

yet united in loving to follow you

Encourage us to face our time

in sorrow for our failings of the past,

in hope of a change of heart,

and in faith for a future

built on your Gospel of love, Amen.”

(Churches together in Farnborough, Surrey. U.K)

1 John Bluck, Canberra Take – Aways, WCC Publications, Geneva, 1991, pages 14, 15.

 

2 The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key texts and Voices, edited by Michael Kinnamon and Brian E. Cope, WCC Publications, Geneva, 1997, page 439.

3 Op.cit, John Bluck, page 16.

4 Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement, WCC Publication, Geneva, 2002 page 162.

5 Irene Foulkes, Pastoral Problems in Corinth , Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones, San José Costa Rica, 1996, Pp. 345 y 346.

6 Op. Cit, Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement, page 163

7 Aram I, Catholics of Cilicia, For a Church Beyond its Walls, Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon, 2007, page 282.

World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service. It is a movement initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions. It is a movement symbolized by an annual day of celebration – the first Friday of March – to which all people are welcome. It is a movement which brings together women of various races, cultures, and traditions in closer fellowship, understanding, and action throughout the year. Sierra Leone Philippines Lebanon Through World Day of Prayer, women around the world affirm their faith in Jesus Christ share their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows, their opportunities and needs Through World Day of Prayer, women are encouraged to become aware of the whole world and no longer live in isolation to be enriched by the faith experience of Christians of other countries and cultures to take up the burdens of other people and pray with and for them to become aware of their talents and use them in the service of society Through World Day of Prayer, women affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and that both have immeasurable influence in the world.

Papua New Guinea 2009

In Christ, Many Members Yet One Body

On March 6, 2009, the women of Papua New Guinea invite us to have the confidence of Ruth, who left what was familiar to her and went with Naomi to another land. They call us to ponder the mystery of our oneness in Christ in their context and our own. Papua New Guinea has one of the most heterogeneous indigenous populations in the world. More than 800 languages are spoken. Their diversity is expressed in this saying, “For each village another culture.” Yet, the bilum, a traditional string bag is found nearly everywhere. Bilums come in many colors, sizes, shapes, and styles and often the creative designs identify where the bilums were made. Men usually prefer a long handle style that is worn over the shoulder. Women carry their babies and their market produce. Bilums are also used as a hanging cradle for a sleeping baby. We are also invited to reflect on the collaborative networks among women. In Exodus, the story of deliverance from bondage begins with women’s non-violent intervention. Their actions ignore the social forces that are rooted in the fallacy that one group is superior to the other and is entitled to exploit them. Together, the women overcome evil with good. So, too, in the context of Papua New Guinea, we are given examples of women’s intervention in Bougainville and in the Highlands. And we are called to identify women’s intervention in our own context. We thank you, God, for directing our lives. As women united as one in your body, with your love and your power in us, we pray that we would be your instruments for peace and reconciliation.

http://www.worlddayofprayer.net/

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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