Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Archbishop of Algiers: When Christians and Muslims pray together

Reactions Erzbischof von Algier: Wenn Christen und Muslime zusammen beten

Can Christians and Muslims pray together?  Caution, hot potato as dialogue experts are quick to point to such a question. And actually the difference between the Christian and Islamic image of God makes common prayer at least very difficult: everywhere misunderstandings are threatened . But the Archbishop of the Algerian capital Algiers, Bader Abdullah believes in the possibility of common prayer. Behind him is the experience of a small local church which even in the most difficult time was during the civil war in Algeria, held out hands of friendship to Muslims.

"Not only official dialogue with major conferences on specific topics will help. There are also other dialogues that goes so far that we even pray together: what I call spiritual dialogue. Of course, praying with others does not take place every day. It belongs to permanent contact with these people, conversations, eating and going out together. At the end you can say: Let us pray together ...I think it's fantastic! "

Archbishop Bader reported several prayer initiatives with Christian and Muslim participants. They were already beyond the experimental phase:

"Today, well-organized groups come together. But there are other models, we hold together a conference, let us also pray together! I think a dialogue that extends to common prayer, is a very valuable dialogue. It is more valuable than just holding meetings. Praying means to place ourselves together before God. I think it's fantastic and a very valuable experience. "

The joint prayers with Muslims for the Archbishop of Algiers belongs to the broader "dialogue of daily life together". This idea even attracts reservations and resistance from some Catholics in Algeria. However:

"I think we have no choice. Either we live in a ghetto, remain in the convent, enclosed in a chapel or a house, or because we really live, where we live, and take on the challenge of meeting the other! Even if they have different beliefs from mine and do not share my faith – that is a good chance of encounter. Even if it is not set up specifically. I note, however, that these encounters change the view of others about us. Many journalists say to me after an interview that I had imagined you differently, but now I see that you're an open person. "

Muslim extremists force closure of sixteen churches in Indonesia

Vereinte Evangelische Mission: Indonesien: 16 Kirchen mit Polizeigewalt geschlossen

At a stroke, the Indonesian police have closed 16 church buildings in the region of Aceh Singkil. These are two churches: the Christian Church in Indonesia (HKI), a member church of the UEM, and the GKPPD (Pakpak-Dairi Protestant Church, which is connected to the VEM, and also Roman Catholic and Pentecostal churches. The step was justified with the assertion that the churches had been built without planning permission. The UEM (United Evangelical Mission) in Wuppertal has received an actual cry for help from the "Indonesian National Committee" of the Lutheran World Federation. According to this the territory of Singkil Aceh contained the traditional tribal lands of the Pakpak tribe . This was indeed majority Muslim, but they have in the past lived in harmony with other religions, also Christians, who are also part of the Pakpak people. On 30 April, a group of Muslims gathered outside the building of regional administration and asked for the the closing of churches as the churches were built without permits. This was rejected by the representatives of the Christians: The churches were all built following the letter of the minister from 2006, which required an appropriate building permit. The specific group of Muslims still clamored to close the churches. Among other things, they chanted, that Christians should demolish their churches within three days or otherwise they would do that within two weeks. The authorities finally gave in under the pressure of the "street" and closed the churches. Currently, 16 parishes in the region do not celebrate services.

Bishop's baptism renewed by priestess

Reactions – Der Trierer Bischof läßt sich von einer Protestunte wiedertaufen

Even today, Christians of all denominations through the gift of faith and baptism were so interwoven that they were as undivided as the Holy Robe – stated Bishop Stephan Ackermann to his audience.

On Saturday, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier staged a so-called baptismal service.  The occasion was held at the Constantine Basilica in Trier (which is in Protestant hands). The bishop can be here having his baptism symbolically renewed by Barbara Rudolph. This was reported by the Saarbrücken Nachrichten on 7 May. Mrs. Rudolph is full-time Senior Church Elder of the 'Protestant Church in Rhineland' and responsible for ecumenism. The event was part of an ecumenical procession in Trier. The procession started at the Holy Robe and ended up at the Lutheran Church in a "baptism renewal service." (Cathcon- the second intermediate station was the Diocesan Seminary)

Already embarrassing  
In an awkward ceremony Mrs. Rudolph made ​the sign of ​a little cross on the forehead of the Bishop. The Saarbrücken Nachrichten published a picture of Mons. Ackermann, keeping his eyes closed, while the elder placed finger and thumb lightly against the bishop's nose, blessing the forehead 
(Cathcon-water was used- and each person who renewed their baptismal promises received a white "stole")

unity only for the disciples

Mons. Ackermann made the following statement in the Protestant sanctuary: Today were Christians of all denominations through the gift of faith and baptism so interwoven that they were as undivided as the Holy Robe: "In Christ we are one, and he gave his life for the unity of his disciples, "-. he claimed, although Protestants deny the central truths of faith and morals. 

A paster supporting homosexuality had his say

In the basilica Christian Schad in an address referred to the failed priest, alcoholic and polygamist Martin Luther († 1546) . Schad is president of the Protestant Church of the Palatinate .

He is responsible for the introduction of blasphemous blessings for gay people in their own church.

the pain is self-inflicted 

The German schismatic Martin Luther - probably in an alcohol rage – called the Holy Robe of Trier a rip-off- Schad preached at length. As a mandate, he claimed with respect to mixed marriages. "They practice everyday ecclesiastical communion and may no longer be the stepchild of ecumenism" It hurts, that the churches are not united at the table of the Lord . The alleged pain will remain as long as the Protestants reject the confession, the real presence of Christ in the sacrament and basic principles of Christian morality.

It has been a busy time for the Bishop - including a visit to the gay and lesbian centre

Churches come to the defence of Lady Gaga in flight with Muslims

Don’t gag Gaga, churches urge cops | The Jakarta Post:

"Church groups are urging the National Police to reverse their decision to deny a permit for US singer Lady Gaga’s upcoming concert in Jakarta, saying that it will hinder freedom of expression.

The Indonesian Bishops’ Conference (KWI) rights commission secretary Benny Susetyo told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that the police bowed to pressure from hard-line groups such as the infamous Islam Defenders Front (FPI).

“This is dangerous for our democracy, because our law enforcers have surrendered to such brutal groups. The police should have good reasons to ban Gaga’s concert, not merely because of the groups’ pressure,” he said.

The Jakarta Police have also not issued a recommendation to the National Police to issue a permit for Gaga’s concert on June 3 at Bung Karno Main Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta."

Oldest bishop in the world has died

On Sunday, the Vietnamese Bishop Antoine Nguyen Van Thien, who was the oldest in the world died in Nice at the age of 106. This was reported by the Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano. The batten of oldest living bishop now passes to Msgr Francis Hong Yong-ho who is aged 105 from Pyongyang in North Korea.  Hat tip to

Msgr Antonio Rosario Mennonna was the oldest Italian bishop until he died at the age of 103 in 2009.  At the time, he was second oldest bishop in the Church behind Bishop Van Thien.

Vatican tells Pontifical University not to dictate to them

Lawyer says Pontifical University can't control who represents Church :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The attorney for the Archdiocese of Lima, Natale Amprimo, said Peru's Pontifical Catholic University has no right to tell the Vatican it must replace Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani as the negotiator between the Church hierarchy and university officials, as rector Marcial Rubio is requesting.

As controversy continues over the university's refusal to follow Vatican directives, Rubio sent a letter on May 9 to the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,

In the letter, Rubio argues that the removal of Cardinal Cipriani as negotiator is “the only way to achieve the full peace that the University and the Peruvian bishops desire.”

As one of several moves that has caused concern among Vatican officials, the university had defied a ruling by the Peruvian civil courts to give the Archdiocese of Lima a seat on its board of directors.

One of a series of four videos on the internet, for those that can understand- an interview with the deputy Rector, Pepi Patron.

The position of the church- another multi-video interview. This battle has been going on for a generation- also to be found on Youtube is an interview with the Cardinal about the University dating from 1997.