Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Quotation of the Week (April 28 - May 4, 2019)

A quotation of Robert Louis Stevenson on 'selling something,'
compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo © Jerome D'Costa 

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter Sunday Terrorism In Sri Lanka Kills Local Christians And Foreigners

The result of the bomb explosion inside
St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, north of Colombo 
Photo courtesy: Getty images via

A wave of coordinated terrorist bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on April 21, Easter Sunday, killed 290 people with another 500 injured. Most of the dead were local Sri Lankans, and among the foreigners, mostly tourists, 39 were killed, with some still missing. 

Law enforcement authorities arrested 24 Sri Lankans. National Thowheed Jamath, a local Islamic group with connection with international radical Islamic terrorist organizations is believed to be behind the attacks.  

According to Sri Lanka military spokesman, six suicide bombers caused these explosions in Zion Church in Batticaloa, St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, and St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo. Other attacks were in the hotels: The Kingsbury Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand Hotel of Colombo and a hotel in Dehiwala Zoological Garden area.  Another attack was in Mahawila Gardens housing complex. 

Sri Lanka has a population of 21 million -- of whom, 70% are Theravada Buddhists, 13% Hindus, 10% Muslims, and 7% Christians. 

Pope Francis decried the attacks on innocent victims and offered his prayers and sympathy. 

It is noteworthy that the U.S. and India had warned Sri Lanka of the possible terrorist attacks on its soil in early April but the Sri Lankan government did not take the warning seriously. The U.S. embassy in Bangladesh, on April 9, warned U.S. citizens to take precaution in their movements in Bangladesh, too, for possible terrorist attacks. 

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter To You All!

Artwork © Jerome D'Costa (2019)

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The Quotation of the Week (April 21 - 27, 2019)

A quotation of Jean Vanier on 'loving people,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Design by Jerome D'Costa
Above photo of Jean Vanier @courtesy of

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Points To Sexual Revolution Of The 1960s For Church Sex Abuses

Pope Benedict XVI 
Photo courtesy: catholicnewsorgcouk/CNA

Some call it 'essay,' others 'letter.' Whatever it is, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his recent writing on the sex abuse crisis in the German magazine Klerusblatt (clergy monthly), claimed that the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the post-Vatican II (1962-1965) liberalization of the Catholic Church's moral teachings, increasing absence of God among many, morally lax teaching and practice in seminaries and practice of homosexuality led to this widespread child sex abuse in the Church. 

Some progressive priests, bishops, and theologians criticized this view of Pope Benedict on the sex abuse in the Church, some conservative elements, on the other hand, are supporting him. 

If one uses his or her common sense, it becomes clear that even though Pope Benedict, at the time of his retirement, said that he would spend the rest of his life in 'prayer and silence,' he failed to remain true to it. Why? Some of the conservative elements in the Catholic Church think that Pope Francis has been leading the Church to 'heresy' through his words and actions. Their constant goading, coaxing, and pleading with the 'prayerful and silent' Pope Benedict made him add his voice publicly in the fray.  

Where there is a sex organ, there is sexuality. Some use this sexuality for a good purpose, others for an evil purpose (sex abuse). Clergy sex abuse is nothing new in the Catholic Church. Since the founding of the Church, it, in different forms -- heterosexuality (concubinage), bisexuality, homosexuality, pedophilia, ephebophilia -- continues till today. Why does it continue till today? Remember the 'one-in-twelve syndrome?' Jesus Christ himself showed by example that one in twelve fails to remain true to his vocation. Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, in spite of hands-on training by Jesus, ultimately failed in his task. What do we learn from this? We learn that a few in a group will always commit sin, commit a crime. Members of the laity and the hierarchy (priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes) of the Catholic Church are not immune from this one-in-twelve syndrome. 

As usual, Pope Benedict, as a member of the hierarchy, failed again to take any responsibility for the abuses that took place during his governance of the Church as a cardinal and as the pope. Pope John Paul II, too, failed in this respect. During their time, a deep and long silence on the worldwide clergy sex abuses was the norm, with only a few exceptions. This type of cover-up of the clergy sex abuse is tantamount to 'participating in the sins of others.'  When teaching about the participation in the sins of others, the Church always directs its fingers towards the laymen and laywomen, not at all towards the members of the hierarchy! This very holier than thou attitude, self-righteousness, and a sense of immunity from the sinfulness of the members of the Catholic hierarchy are called clericalism. Now is the right time for them to rethink and act on this extremely serious matter.  

Pope Francis, in spite of his weaknesses, is the first pope to allow widespread and public conversation on the clergy sex abuse, especially clergy child sex abuse. The public conversation ultimately brings out the truth, brings about the healing. 

For more, please read the following:

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Message on Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis

Critique of Pope Benedict's Message

Support to Pope Benedict's Message

(Updated on May 6, 2019)

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Flames Engulf Notre Dame Catheral in Paris Causing World-Wide Heartache

Impressive Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, used to
attract millions of tourists and devotees a year
 Photo courtesy:

Interior view of the Cathedral during a religious service
Photo courtesy:

 The devastating fire of April 15, 2019, causes
the Notre Dame Cathedral spire collapse 
Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images via

Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris), named in honour of Jesus' mother, is the Gothic cathedral on an island in the river Seine that passes through the city of Paris, is a French landmark renowned all over the world. Millions of French and international tourists visit it every year.

Built 850 years ago, this Catholic cathedral saw a lot of history and it itself survived the ravages of the French revolution (1789-1799), the First World War (1914-1918), and the Second World War (1939-1945). 

Recently this cathedral was undergoing massive renovation work. French authorities surmise that this fire was caused accidentally. 

The French, as well as people world over, felt heartache at the devastating fire that engulfed this venerable cathedral. 

Many French donors have already pledged millions of euros for rebuilding the cathedral. Foreigners are also coming forward to offering help.

For more, please read the following:

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Monday, April 15, 2019

La Civilta Cattolica (English Edition)

La Civilta Cattolica (The Catholic Civilization),
a Jesuit journal from Rome, Italy
La Civilta Cattolica, in the Italian language, is the 108-year old journal of the Jesuit Order in Rome, Italy. It is published in cooperation with the Secretariate of State of the Vatican, with the aim of interpreting "religion, history, politics, culture, science, and art in the world in the light of the Catholic faith."

It has its French, German, Spanish, Korean, and English versions. 

You may read the English version here La Civilta Cattolica (English Version)

The English translation of the Italian version can be read here La Civilta Cattolica

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Quotation of the Week (April 14 - 20, 2019)

A quotation Charles Dickens on 'one's heart', compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork: Andrea Mary D'Costa (2018)

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Friday, April 12, 2019

The Budget vs. Uncollected Gargage In Toronto

A bin with uncollected overflowing garbage near
the Mount Sinai Hospital on the University Avenue, Toronto

Another bin with uncollected garbage 
right in front of the entrance to the Mount Sinai Hospital

A third bin, in front of the entrance to the Queens Park TTC Station 
(on College Street), facing the Provincial Parliament House 
at the Queens Park
All Photos (Toronto: April 12, 2019) © Jerome D'Costa

When Torontonians are busy debating the City and Provincial budgets, garbage cans right in front of the nose of the Provincial Parliament House remain uncleared for days. I noticed the uncollected garbage bin in the first photo (above) last Tuesday, April 9. Today is Friday (April 12) and the garbage can is still in its former position! This made me look further and I noticed the other two overflowing bins today. 

Now you can imagine what may happen when alcoholic drinks and recreational drugs are easily available everywhere! 

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Artist & The Viewer: A Publication of Toronto

The Artist & The Viewer -- a publication of Toronto
It's a recently debuted Toronto art newspaper for Toronto visual artists and their audience. It aims "to bring visual arts to the main stages" through its news, views, reviews, and articles on the Toronto art scene of drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, video, photography, mixed media, multidisciplinary arts, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, woodcraft, papercut, and more. 

Email contact:

It's also available online at The Artist & The Viewer

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Quotation of the Week (April 7-13, 2019)

A quotation of Arnold Lunn on 'the success of a Catholic school,'
compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Above design by Jerome D'Costa

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pope Francis Issues A Decree For Protection Of Minors And Vulnerable Adults In The Vatican City State

Pope Francis in the Vatican
Photo courtesy: AP via

Pope Francis recently issued a new decree or edict, called Motu Proprio (meaning "on his own impulse" -- an action taken by the pope on his own initiative), which will go into effect on June 1, 2019, making it mandatory for the Vatican City State officials or staff and Vatican diplomats in different countries to immediately report to Vatican authorities any allegation of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults (who are "in an infirm state, or physical or mental deficiency, or deprivation of personal freedom, that in fact, even occasionally, limits their capacity to intend or to want or in any way to resist the offense") by any one of their own. If anyone fails to report such an allegation will face monetary fines or jail time. 

This decree, however, will not affect non-Vatican jurisdictions (that is, local Catholic dioceses, the orders of priests-Brothers-Sisters, or their institutions). 

This is one concrete step taken after the February Vatican Summit of world Catholic bishops on the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

For more on this subject, kindly read the following:

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Monday, April 1, 2019

THE ATLANTIC: A Monthly Magazine from the U.S.A.

This monthly magazine published ten-times-a-year from the Washington, D.C., U.S.A., covers news, views, and articles on politics, economy, art, culture, social issues, entertainment, science and technology, education, religion, literature, health, and fitness, and more. 

Email contact:

It's also available online at The Atlantic

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