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Signs of Jesus' Soon Coming #41603
12/18/00 03:16 AM
12/18/00 03:16 AM
Linda Sutton  Offline OP
Charter Member
2500+ Member
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 2,794
Catholics Call for Filipino President to Quit

They really want the president to quit. President Joseph "Erap" Estrada of the Philipines. Led by the cardinal of the Philipines, Catholics are praying and calling for his resignation as they lead out in impeachment rallies.

On the first day of impeachment hearings against the president, thousands of protesters, many of them Catholics, crowded into Manila's Roxas Boulevard to attend an open-air service described as a "protest Eucharist" and "prayer of the people." Most of those present represented Catholic parish councils and schools, as well as universities, business clubs, workers and women's groups.

"Mr. President, do not be afraid to resign," Cardinal Sin said in his homily. He told the president, a former star of action films: "I will take care of you. Resignation is not defeat. Only brave men do that."

He added: "The truth is you have lost your moral ascendancy to govern us. Face the truth, and be courageous. The country is already suffering."

While we expect Catholics to be involved in politics and government as they have always been, they are not alone this time.
Officials from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) were present at the rally. The NCCP executive committee said in a statement on 9 November: "The hour has come for President Estrada to confess and repent. This means stepping down from power to pave the way for forgiveness and reconciliation. The president has lost any moral ascendancy to govern."

Former Filipino president Corazon Aquino has also joined in.
In front of 1,000 students and teachers, the former Philippine president and hero of the 1986 People Power Revolution was fulfilling a vow to visit churches and schools throughout the archipelago to lead Filipinos in praying for President Joseph Estrada's resignation.

New Ecumenical Group is Formed

Geneva, Switzerland was the site for the founding meeting of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance December 7 & 8, 2000. "Inspired in part by the Jubilee 2000 campaign against debt and by the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines, a unique alliance to harness the collective energies of the worldwide church to promote justice and peace issues" is the goal of the new group. The new group is strongly supported by the World Council of Churches who sent a large number of delegates. A number of Roman Catholic organizations were also represented.

The launch of the alliance was also welcomed by a senior United Nations official. Bertrand Ramcharan, the U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, told the meeting: "It is important for you to be a voice of the people in a globalizing world … to be an advocate of minimum standards of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights, in a world where social safety nets are disappearing."

Home Prayer Meetings and Bible Studies

A couple in New Milford, CT are suing the town which has told them to stop having their weekly prayer meetings in their home. The couple has hosted a Sunday afternoon prayer meeting and Bible study for over 5 years. Neighbors have complained about the cars, sometimes as many as 30, that are parked on the cul-de-sac and in the family's back yard.

The zoning board, which has told the couple to quit having their meetings, says that they were not targeting the couple for religious reasons. They would have done this for any meeting that is held on a regular basis.

Doring says zoning regulations do not allow such large, regular gatherings in residential neighborhoods. But he says the Murphies could apply for a special-use church permit to hold the meetings.
A growing number of communities are passing zoning laws and ordainances to prohibit such meetins in their homes unless they obtain a permit such as the one the New Milford couple have been advised to get. What kind of impact will this have on people who hold Bible studies in their homes?

The state of Alabama where I lived for several years passed such a law. In order to hold regular meetings in your home with more than five people, you had to get a permit and have your home called a church. At least while I was there, the law didn't seem to be much enforced.

[This message has been edited by Linda Sutton (edited December 17, 2000).]

Re: Signs of Jesus' Soon Coming #41604
12/18/00 03:20 AM
12/18/00 03:20 AM
Linda Sutton  Offline OP
Charter Member
2500+ Member
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 2,794
Western countries should stop exporting their atheistic lifestyles, the pope says. In a message released Dec. 14, Pope John Paul said there is a deepening "spiritual and moral impoverishment" in the West, and that a "slavish conformity" to Western culture damages other cultures and civilizations. He expressed concerns about the West's power in communications technology, and said its scientific advances have led to cloning and the use of human embryos for research, according to news reports.

"Detached from their Christian origins, these models are often inspired by an approach to life marked by secularism and practical atheism and by patterns of radical individualism," John Paul said. He called it a "phenomenon of vast proportions, sustained by powerful media campaigns."

The fact that only a few countries monopolize global communications can "undermine cultural distinctiveness," the pope said. He stressed the need for cultures to proclaim the value of life, and condemned abortion, euthanasia, torture, mutilation, trafficking in women and children, and "unnecessary recourse" to the death penalty.

A court in Thessalonica, Greece, has acquitted 11 evangelical pastors who were accused of operating illegal churches. The Dec. 12 decision ends a three-year legal battle between the majority Greek Orthodox Church and minority churches, World Evangelical Fellowship reported.

The pastors were charged with violating a law that requires minority churches to obtain an operating license, granted only by Orthodox bishops, according to WEF. The law has contributed to tensions between evangelical and Orthodox leaders.

The district attorney called on the presiding judge to support a change in the law, WEF said. Tsirbas said he expects "nothing less than the court's immediate action." The fact that Greek minorities are forced to submit to the authority of the Orthodox Church "constitutes a human rights violation of the highest order," he said.

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