Archive for the ‘Catholic Church’ Category

Annals of Papal gift-giving, UPDATED

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Obama’s gift to the Pope: a seed sampler

Queen Elizabeth’s gift to the Pope: a huge picnic hamper

The hamper contained 18 items from Buckingham Palace, Windsor, Sandringham and Balmoral including two types of honey, a bottle of whiskey, ‘Coronation Best Bitter, ‘Grandad’s chutney’ and ‘Sandringham handmade aromatherapy soaps’.

Purists want to know, Irish whiskey, or Scotch (whisky)?

Look at the size of the thing:

In exchange, Obama received a copy of Evangelii Gaudium, and the Queen was presented with a lapis lazuli orb for Prince George, inscribed with ‘Pope Francis, to His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge’

with a silver cross of Edward the Confessor, the 11th Century English King who was made a saint,

The royal couple were also presented with a reproduction of a decree by Pope Innocent XI issued in 1679 which elevated Edward the Confessor into a saint for the Catholic Church.

The Vatican chief of protocol was spot-on in both counts.

Read about what it all means at POTUS and the Pope
The Vatican’s symbolic messaging v. the White House spin
, by George Weigel.

Note to self: Have the Queen over.

Prior papal gifts here.

UPDATE:
Monica Showalter adds,

A nice exchange of gifts. The article doesn’t mention it, but lapis lazuli is found only in Argentina, Chile, Afghanistan and maybe one or two other places on earth. It was an Argentine gift the Pope gave to the Queen. Lapis Lazuli is the basis for the artists’ pigment Ultramarine Blue.

Vatican chief of protocol rocks!

The disgraced OAS Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 24th, 2014

LatinAmerThe big news of the week: the OAS voted on Friday to shut out the media and the public from Maria Corina Machado’s testimony, thereby disgracing itself.

ARGENTINA
ARGENTINA Y EL NARCOESTADO (PARTE II)

Al menos seis carteles operan en Argentina.Colombianos en Rosario,mexicanos en el Norte de Buenos Aires,narcotransportistas bolivianos en la ruta 34,”la ruta blanca”,sumadas a otras organizaciones criminales transnacionales que incluyen a chinos y serbios.

Pope meets Argentine Falklands veterans and calls for South Atlantic peace
Former archbishop of Buenos Aires has previously backed Argentina’s claim on the islands

How convenient: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner turns Pope Francis from foe to friend
Argentinian president praises cardinal’s commitment and vision, despite previously treating him as a political arch-enemy

BOLIVIA
Más de dos millones de libras de coca ilegal incautada colapsan los depósitos – Erbol

BRAZIL
Brazil’s ‘Constitution Of The Internet’ Puts Net Neutrality In The Spotlight

Brazil troops to quell Rio violenceHeavily-armed police patrol a shanty town in Rio de Janeiro, on March 13, 2014
Brazil’s government says it will send federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to quell recent attacks targeting police ahead of the World Cup in June
.

On Thursday, three police bases in the city were attacked by suspected gangs.

Four police officers have been killed since February in similar attacks.

CHILE
6.2 magnitude earthquake hits northern Chile, no damage reported

Chile asks extradition of alleged ex-guerrilla Marie Emmanuelle Verhoeven,

The 54-year-year-old has been wanted since 1996 on an international arrest warrant for the 1991 slaying of Jaime Guzman, leader of the conservative Chilean party Independent Democratic Union.

Andres Oppenheimer: Bachelet’s Chile: moving closer to Venezuela?

Chile: huge protest to urge new president to adopt reforms, via Bad Blue.

COLOMBIA
“Colombia’s democracy is mortally wounded”; Petro

CUBA
CUBA GIVES DOCTORS BIG PAY RAISE–TO $64 A MONTH

Obama Shouldn’t Forget Our Man in Havana

Uruguay’s Mujica Found Fidel Castro “Deteriorated” But Engaged

ECUADOR
Chevron seeks $32 million in legal fees in Ecuador case

GUATEMALA
Alfonso Portillo, Ex-President Admits Taking Taiwan Bribes

HAITI
Documentary: Post-quake Haiti rebuilding, a ‘Fatal Assistance

JAMAICA
Jamaica’s gang culture
Bad Vybz

LATIN AMERICA
Global Economy and Development – Brookings: A HIGH-CARBON PARTNERSHIP?
CHINESE-LATIN AMERICAN RELATIONS IN A CARBON-CONSTRAINED WORLD

MEXICO
US Sentences Mexican to 40 Years for Murder of Border Patrol Agent
Fourth Defendant Sentenced in Murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas

PANAMA
Behind the Chong Chon Gang Affair: North Korea’s Shadowy Arms Trade

PERU
Police, striking miners clash in Peru, 11 injured

PUERTO RICO
Finra Examining Trading in Puerto Rico Bonds
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is examining trading in Puerto Rico bonds, just a week after the island territory’s $3.5 billion bond sale.

VENEZUELA
Drone Camera Corrects CNN Español Report on Caracas Demonstrations

VenEconomy: Silence Means Consent

Airlines Move to Cut Off Service to Venezuela

Earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that international airlines would likely stop serving Venezuela unless the country took steps to resolve the issue. Carriers don’t want to acquire more bolivars, which aren’t exchangeable outside the country.

Venezuela says street protests have caused $10 billion in damage

Venezuela’s protests
Inside the barrios
Support among the poor for the government of Nicolás Maduro is conditional

Can the Chavistas Save Venezuela from Cuba?

Chavistas want to save their movement from incompetent leadership and foreign interference and to protect their social base. Student protesters want to roll back the authoritarian intrusions and economic mismanagement that threaten their future. These fundamental goals are far from mutually exclusive for Venezuelans of good will looking to rescue their country.

Venezuela Battles Media, Social and Otherwise, to Restrict Protest Coverage

Venezuela Goes Mad

The week’s posts and podcast:
#SOSVenezuela: Who’s doing the killing? UPDATED

#SOSVenezuela: Yesterday’s #22M march

#SOSVenezuela, Maria Corina, and the OAS

LIVE: OAS hearing on Maria Corina Machado blacked out?

Insourcing from . . . Mexico?

Venezuela-Cuba Military Cooperation and the Narco-Terrorist Connection

En español: Terapia intensiva #200 ¡Felicidades a @DrNetas por las doscientas terapias!

Colombia: Santos wets himself UPDATED

Brazil’s high operating costs

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Latin America: Putin gets his license

Venezuela: The Left vs. reality

Podcast:
Venezuela & US-Latin America stories of the week


Pope Francis, the glass is more than half-full.

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Granted, the glass is more than half-empty in Argentina, but in general terms, the Pope is wrong:

Is the Pope Right About the World?
We’re living at a far more equal, peaceful, and prosperous time than the pontiff acknowledges.

On inequality,

Paradoxically, the shrinking of the global inequality gap was only possible after India and China abandoned their attempts to create equality through central planning. By allowing people to keep more of the money they earned, the Chinese and Indian governments incentivized people to create more wealth. Allowing inequality to increase at home, in other words, diminished inequality globally. And global inequality, surely, is the statistic that should most concern the leader of a global religion.

Read the whole article.

Pope Francis is also wrong on Islam.

I stand by my word: free markets, property rights, and the rule of law are the engines that improve all of mankind.

TIME’s Person of the Year: Pope Francis

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Pope Francis, The People’s Pope
He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century

Argentina: Pope Francis, Renault 4 Club’s lifetime member

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

A few days ago an Italian priest gifted Pope Francis a popemobile that is a lot like him: frugal, clad in white and with a fair bit of mileage. The Pope will use it for getting around the Vatican, which tells me a couple of things:

  • Popes get parking privileges
  • Francis likes stick shift
  • The little car looks like fun
  • He runs his own errands.

Following the news of the Pope’s new wheels (which, at 186,000 miles goes beyond “certified pre-owned”), the Buenos Aires-based Argentina Renault 4 Motor Club has granted Pope Francis a lifetime membership, since Pope Francis owned a green Renault 4 back in the day.

Here’s a YouTube of the club’s loyal fans meeting in the cold rain to show off their “roadrunners”, as they call their cars,

I can’t wait to see photos of the Pope washing the car when he needs to think.


Argentina: Wall-to-wall Papal photo up

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Cristina Fernández, who’s up for re-election in October, 2015 but desperately needs a legislative majority, is using a photo of herself and candidate Martín Insaurralde (who she hopes will be her majority leader) taken with Pope Francis:

The poster reads, “Don’t be downcast; don’t let go of hope.”

When I was in Buenos aires the week Nestor Kirchner died, leaving Cristina as widow and president, the posters of him and Cristina popped up immediately, on every subway car and station, and on every corner of the city, even in the suburb where I was staying.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Apparently the Pope photo-op is now everywhere. Cristina claims it’s not a campaign ad.

The photo was taken last week during the Pope’s visit to Brazil, which was a resounding success. Pope Francis was meeting the heads of state that came to Mass.

The Pope, who is hugely popular in Argentina (tango included), was, during his tenure as Cardinal in Buenos Aires, a big critic of the Kirchners, but now, with the poster prominently papering every public surface, Cristina’s making look like the Pope’s on her side.


The maggot Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, July 29th, 2013

LatinAmerNo, not maggot Anthony Weiner (with apologies to any soft limbless larva of dipterous insects who may be reading this blog). The catchy headline is not from a Star Trek movie, but from another trek . . . to Peru,

A British woman returned from a holiday in Peru hearing scratching noises inside her head to be told she was being attacked by flesh-eating maggots living inside her ear.

Now that I have your attention, here’s the news from our hemisphere:
ARGENTINA
Sure this is the real thing? GREEN Coke launched in Argentina with natural sweetener and fully recyclable bottle

BOLIVIA
Evo says the continent must cease to depend on foreign companies for its large-scale industrial projects: Bolivia’s Morales Calls for South America’s “Technological Liberation”

BRAZIL
Pope Warns of Drug Scourge as Latin America Moves to Legalize

Papal Visit a Mixed Blessing for Rio
Mishaps at a papal event are raising doubts about Rio de Janeiro hosting the upcoming Olympics and the World Cup.

Pope urges talks in divided Brazil
Pope Francis urges Brazil’s government and civil society leaders to use dialogue as an alternative to violent protest and “selfish indifference”.

CHILE
‘Murder’ claim roils Chile campaign
A Chilean lawyer wants charges against the father of the conservative presidential candidate for the murder of her rival’s father.

Some final thoughts on Capriles in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia civil conflict has killed ‘nearly a quarter of a million’: study
Almost a quarter of a million Colombians have been killed in the country’s bloody half-century conflict, most of them civilians, a government-funded report revealed on Wednesday, providing fresh evidence of the vast scale of human rights violations since hostilities began.

COSTA RICA
Costa Rica Aims for Zoos without Cages. [Insert NJ Turnpike joke here]

CUBA
The Castro Brothers Get Caught in the Act News of arms shipments to North Korea rudely interrupts the happy talk about reforms in Cuba.

The Cuban Cargo Caper

In the spirit of rock and roll and freedom, Cuban heavy metal band Hipnosis defects

ECUADOR
U.S. Aims to Resume Bilateral Talks With Ecuador Before Year-End

Chevron’s latest headache in $19 billion lawsuit
A federal appeals court is weighing a sixth attempt by representatives of the Amazon Defense Front to toss the judge hearing the oil giant’s RICO case.

HAITI
Haiti cholera epidemic caused by UN, say experts

HONDURAS
UNREAL! Chicago Teachers Union Officials Travel to Honduras to Discuss “Revolution” With Former Tyrant

LATIN AMERICA
FDA set to overhaul food safety rules for imported fruits, veggies

Latin America and Edward Snowden
South Americans in glasshouses

MEXICO
WSJ letter to the editor: Mexico Needs Big Oil-Policy Change
Pemex’s freedom of maneuver has been held hostage for a half-century by a national narrative that misunderstands the global dynamic of the oil industry

NICARAGUA
Chinese Businessman Seeks to Build Nicaraguan Canal

PERU
More than 100 bodies exhumed in Peru

PUERTO RICO
Luis Gutierrez Asks Congress To Oppose Puerto Rico Statehood Resolution In Joint Letter With Nydia Velazquez

SURINAME
Suriname wants Dutch compensation for slave trade (h/t Gates of Vienna)

VENEZUELA
Apocalyptic South American fuck-up nudges up fund manager’s alpha

In Venezuela, the only fully-stocked supermarket belongs to the government: Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket and its one-in one-out policy
Demand at Caracas’s only fully-stocked supermarket – the government-run Bicentenario – is so high that it is now operating a “one-in, one-out” policy.

The week’s posts:
Brazil: 3 million expected at Copacabana today

Latin America and the China bubble

Cuba: A grim anniversary

Venezuela: Maduro gets hacked

Habemus Papam, habemus tango

Cuba: Civility, schmivility

Brazil: The Pope in a pickle

UNESCO self-ridicules UPDATED

Puerto Rico: Wind farm fiasco


Brazil: 3 million expected at Copacabana today

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Millions of people converged on Copacabana Beach Saturday for an evening vigil with Pope Francis

Hundreds of thousands of youths camped out on Copacabana beach ahead of Pope Francis’ final mass for World Youth Day. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro estimated that some three million people would turn up for Sunday mass. Photo: Associated Press.

Including some Americans:

While mishaps at a papal event are raising doubts about Rio de Janeiro hosting the upcoming Olympics and the World Cup, this, Pope Francis’s first visit to our hemisphere, has shown him relating to the huge crowds on their terms.

Habemus Papam, habemus tango

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Didn’t take long! Tango “Francisco”, about and in honor of Pope Francis I:

Meanwhile, his security detail is struggling to figure out how to keep the pontiff safe:

Today he celebrated Mass at the shrine of the Virgin of Aparecida, in front of a huge crowd gathered for World Youth Day.

Brazil: The Pope in a pickle

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Drudge summarizes:

The protestors were out last night,

Going in the Fiat wasn’t such a good idea – nice thought, but very dangerous.