Homily of Pope Francis at Inaugural Mass

Independent Catholic

Let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.

pope3Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.

I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.
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Unofficial results show Zim vote in favour of new referendum

Mail and Guardian

zim3Unendorsed results have shown Zimbabweans voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new constitution that would trim President Robert Mugabe’s powers.

Tallies from regional counting centres published by state-controlled daily the Herald found 3.1-million voters of a total of nearly 3.4-million people who cast their ballots approved the supreme law.

The paper said 200 000 people rejected the proposed constitution in Saturday’s vote. An estimated six-million citizens were eligible as voters. Continue reading Unofficial results show Zim vote in favour of new referendum

Boko Haram blasts in Nigeria kill at least 20

Mail and Guardian

nigA series of blasts targeting buses full of passengers in Kano, Nigeria has killed at least 20 people and sources say the toll is expected to rise.

Initial reports indicated that two suicide bombers drove a car packed with explosives into a bus at the New Road station in Sabon Gari, a predominantly Christian neighbourhood in the majority Muslim city.

Several explosions were heard following the initial blast, sparking panic as bloodied bystanders including some with serious injuries fled the scene as soldiers arrived to cordon off the area.

Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s north, was repeatedly targeted by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, blamed for killing hundreds in the region since 2009.
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Visions of a Sustainable, Pollution-Free New York by 2030

By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 19 2013 (IPS) – As usual, midtown Manhattan is packed with whisper-quiet cars and trams while thousands walk the streets listening to the birds of spring sing amongst the gleaming, grime-free skyscrapers in the crystal-clear morning air.

Welcome to New York City in April 2030.
I think the public will be 100 percent behind this, if they know about it.

This is not a fantasy. It is a perfectly doable goal, said Stanford University energy expert Mark Jacobson. In fact, the entire state of New York could be powered by wind, water and sunlight based on a detailed plan Jacobson co-authored.

It’s not only doable, powering New York on green energy is “sustainable and inexpensive” and would save lives and health costs, Jacobson told IPS.
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DRC: M23 Rebel Surrenders to US Embassy


Kinshasa—Democratic Republic of Congo fugitive rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda, has handed himself to the US embassy in Rwanda asking to be turned over to the International Criminal Court where he is wanted for suspected war crimes.

“We have learned today that Bosco Ntaganda entered Rwanda and surrendered to US Embassy in Kigali,” read the message on Rwanda’s foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo posted on her twitter account Monday.

General Ntaganda, who led a mutiny in April against the Congolese government, is wanted by the ICC on account of an arrest warrant released in 2006 for war crimes allegedly committed during his days as rebel leader between 2002 and 2003.

The US State department has confirmed Gen Ntaganda’s surrender to its embassy in Kigali, saying they were in contact with the ICC and the Rwandan government to facilitate his request.
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Ten Years After

New York Times

Ten years after it began, the Iraq war still haunts the United States in the nearly 4,500 troops who died there; the more than 30,000 American wounded who have come home; the more than $2 trillion spent on combat operations and reconstruction, which inflated the deficit; and in the lessons learned about the limits of American leadership and power.

It haunts Iraq too, where the total number of casualties is believed to have surpassed 100,000 but has never been officially determined; and where one strongman was traded for another, albeit under a more pluralistic system with a democratic veneer. The country is increasingly influenced by Iran and buffeted by the regional turmoil caused by the Arab Spring. Continue reading Ten Years After

In the Green Tradition

America Magazine

Drew Christiansen


Catholic greens had reason to sound exclamations of joy at today’s inaugural papal Mass. From the announcement of the new pope’s name, Francis, there was speculation about whether Pope Francis would show the same sensitivity for nature that saint who preached to the birds, loved the wild places and tamed the wolf of Gubbio.

Over the weekend, there were hints at the new pope’s meeting with journalists. Asked to explain his choice of name, he said the inspiration came from another Latin American cardinal, who whispered to him as he was elected, “”Don’t forget the poor.” The new pope commented on the attractiveness of the name, Francis: “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation,” the same created world “with which we don’t have such a good relation.” At the end of audience, the pope greeted a blind journalist accompanied by his guide dog, and the pope, as he took the man’s hand, leaned over to pet the dog.
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