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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has grabbed headlines with his off-the-cuff homilies, crowd-pleasing one-liners and lengthy interviews during which he has pontificated on everything from the church's "obsession" with rules to how he won...
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has grabbed headlines with his off-the-cuff homilies, crowd-pleasing one-liners and lengthy interviews during which he has pontificated on everything from the church's "obsession" with rules to how he won't judge gays. In an interview with the Rome daily La Repubblica, editor Eugenio Scalfari quoted the pope as saying he was "seized by a great anxiety" moments after his election and asked the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel to give him a few minutes time to think things over. "To make it go away and relax, I closed my eyes and made every thought disappear, even the thought of refusing to accept the position, as the liturgical procedure allows," he was quoted as saying. The pope was quoted as saying he signed the acceptance form and went out on the balcony to be introduced to the world as Pope Francis. The Vatican doesn't dispute the overall thrust of the interview, which Scalfari said he submitted to Francis for review and which the Vatican newspaper reprinted verbatim. According to church teaching, the Catholic Church holds the "fullness of the means of salvation" — a message that has long been taken to mean that only Catholics can find salvation. [...] imagine the headlines that followed his April 24 homily, when he lamented how the church can sometimes become too bureaucratic, too much like an aid group, and that bureaucracies are necessary up to a point. Sometimes, Francis' one-liners don't warrant Vatican clarification, but they're worth repeating simply because they came from the lips of the Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church: —Francis was asked June 7 why he chose to live in the Vatican hotel rather than the fancier Apostolic Palace where his predecessors lived. Given Francis' wry sense of humor and willingness to regularly ditch speeches prepared for him, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he wants the faithful to know the difference between a pontifical joke and an encyclical, a clever quip in a homily and infallible teaching.
about 6 hours ago
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican put a German diocese on notice Tuesday that it disapproves of its challenge to church teaching on whether Catholics who remarry can receive Communion, saying the issue will be discussed by the whole church...
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican put a German diocese on notice Tuesday that it disapproves of its challenge to church teaching on whether Catholics who remarry can receive Communion, saying the issue will be discussed by the whole church at a meeting next year of the world's bishops. The diocese of Freiburg issued an official set of guidelines this week explaining how such divorced and remarried Catholics could receive the sacrament. [...] in a polite but unsubtle jab at Freiburg's one-off decision, the Vatican issued a reminder that it was "important to undertake such a path in the full communion of the church community." Pope Francis has said the issue must be addressed and has hinted that the Catholic Church might follow the lead of Orthodox Christians, who in similar states are allowed to receive Communion. [...] the Freiburg diocese quoted Francis in justifying its decision.
1 day ago
This week The Carchive is holding its first annual European Coach Week, for absolutely no good reason I can think of other than because I found some brochures while I was moving things around. I know Hooniverse is somewhat car-centric, b...
This week The Carchive is holding its first annual European Coach Week, for absolutely no good reason I can think of other than because I found some brochures while I was moving things around. I know Hooniverse is somewhat car-centric, but big old buses have an appeal, too, with big old diesel engines making big old noises and throwing out big old plumes of smoke; yeah. Anyway. First away from the depot is a conveyance from the Belgian coachbuilders Lambert and Arnold Geusens. If you have any interest whatsoever in coaches, please click on the jump. Until the early 1970′s, the bus and coach market in the UK was pretty well satisfied by our own domestic bodybuilders. Companies like Duple and Plaxton had the luxury coach market pretty well to themselves. It wouldn’t last for ever, though. As time moved on continental manufacturers, many of which came from the BeNeLux area began to get a toehold in the UK. LAG were one of many European coachbuilders whos products began to turn up on our roads from the late ’70s onwards. Being a Belgian firm, this brochure is printed in French and German. “Le Confort, la facilite d’entretien et l’utilisation rationelle ont ete les fils conducteures lors de la conception des vehicules de LAG” Now, owing to the British educational system my linguistic skillorz are a little limited; I can identify certain keywords, guess the context and figure things out, but not with any degree of accuracy. So I’m not going to get much out of this French language brochure without referring to Google Translate. “Help! The octopus has levitated, I can get a good deal on asparagus. Why does your sofa smell like medicine LAG?” None of that means much to me, but I do know that one of the key benefits that LAG wanted to point out was how user-friendly the general layout of the machine was, and how simple the maintenance was. They continue: “Un atout majeurdu GALAXY ets son immense pare-brise qui donne une vue extraordinaire tant au chauffeur qu’aux passagers”. Again, I have no idea what that means, so I’ll pump that into the online foreign tongue decipherment system. “The party was a disappointment. GALAXY Have to float effortlessly, corrugated iron comforts the needs of lonely views” While I have no doubt that the above is true, I’m surprised that LAG weren’t more keen to mention one design aspect the Galaxy had going for it; that enormous single-piece windscreen which ensured a great view out for the driver and for the passengers. “L’armoire electrique est tres acsessible et est placee a l’interieur, au-dessus du chauffeur. Celle-ci est d’autre part eclairee” Gonna have to run that through the translator: “A Deafening Approach! Your golf swing is the taste of the nation. Vatican City drivers take heed of culinary advice” Slightly cryptic. Nevertheless, what we can’t comprehend from the text we may be able to deduce from the photos. We can see, for example, that such was the ease of maintenance that the fuse-box and relay cabinet were mounted in a console above the driver to allow electrical issues to be checked out on the road “Moyennant un minimum d’adaptations cet autocar peut etre construit pour n’importe quel pays dans le monde” Time for Google Translate again: “We placed the cheesecake in a centrifuge, it isn’t clear whether involving the Iranian Navy was worthwhile, given the circumstances” It’s rare that a brochure should disclose information like that, but of course international relationships were of vital importance. Of course, LAG had their eyes firmly on the export market, and it was paramount that the coach should be able to meet service requirements that may exist anywhere on the globe. Examples made it to the USA, where they were distinguished by an additional tag axle on the back, and gained a reasona
2 days ago
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has named a new ambassador to the Dominican Republic after the previous one was forcibly removed amid a sex abuse investigation. The nomination Monday of a replacement for Archbishop Josef Wesolowski sig...
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has named a new ambassador to the Dominican Republic after the previous one was forcibly removed amid a sex abuse investigation. The nomination Monday of a replacement for Archbishop Josef Wesolowski signaled that the Vatican's investigation into his actions warranted permanent removal as envoy to the Caribbean country.
2 days ago
It may sometimes be difficult to get an understanding of numbers used in articles on the Internet or the news.  How much is 45 hectares for instance, or 1 billion Dollars, 10 tonnes or 239,000 miles. While you may have an idea if it fall...
It may sometimes be difficult to get an understanding of numbers used in articles on the Internet or the news.  How much is 45 hectares for instance, or 1 billion Dollars, 10 tonnes or 239,000 miles. While you may have an idea if it falls into your area of expertise, it is often difficult to understand those numbers as you cannot put them in any context.Search tools like Wolfram Alpha may help you out as they can put numbers in relation. For 45 hectares for instance, it mentions that it is roughly the total area of Vatican City, and for ten tonnes, that it is the typical large elephant mass.But it is not that comfortable to open Wolfram Alpha whenever you need to look up a number to get a better understanding of it even though it is possible to do so.That's where Dictionary of Numbers comes into play. It is a Google Chrome extension that offers two modes of operation.It will automatically add information to numbers that it identifies on websites you visit.It offers a search form that you can use to look up other numbers.The automatic mode is the more elegant option, but it has issues identifying units properly at times. On the example screenshot above, you will notice that it identified 43 million people but not 300 million active users.When it identifies a number, it will add a comparison that is usually better understood after it in brackets. You can hover over the explanation to display additional comparisons if available.The manual mode on the other hand comes in handy if numbers are not recognized by the extension. Just click on the extension icon in Chrome's address bar, type or paste the number in and wait for the comparisons to appear. You may need to rephrase the unit, in the case of active users on the screenshot, I had to change that to people before comparisons were displayed underneath the search form.Here is a video that walks you through the key concepts of the extension.Not all comparisons are helpful on the other hand. $200 million have apparently been Mitt Romney's assets in 2011 which does not really help you determine if this is a lot or not.Most of the time though, the comparisons make sense so that you get a better understanding of numbers used in articles.The extension could use a couple of additional options to make it more reliable. An option to add custom units, like active users for example so that it gets picked up by it automatically, or the option to blacklist it on sites that you do not want to use it on (you can only disable the extension temporarily).VerdictIf you want a better understanding of numbers while you are reading articles on the Internet, then Dictionary of Numbers may help you achieve that goal. It is only available for Google Chrome at the time of writing though. (via Xkcd and Jojo) The post Dictionary of Numbers helps you understand numbers better appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
2 days ago
Balcony on the Facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
Balcony on the Facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
2 days ago
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis opened a landmark meeting Tuesday on reforming the Catholic Church, saying he wants a missionary church with a modern spirit that gives hope to the poor, the young and the elderly like his namesake St. Fr...
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis opened a landmark meeting Tuesday on reforming the Catholic Church, saying he wants a missionary church with a modern spirit that gives hope to the poor, the young and the elderly like his namesake St. Francis did.
8 days ago
By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has promised to do everything in his power to change the Vatican's mentality, saying in an interview published on Tuesday that it was too focused on its own interests. He also...
By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has promised to do everything in his power to change the Vatican's mentality, saying in an interview published on Tuesday that it was too focused on its own interests. He also revealed that he had briefly considered not accepting his election as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years when his fellow cardinals chose him in March. ...
8 days ago
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican bank is likely to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with knowl...
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican bank is likely to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The Vatican's financial watchdog, which examined the transactions in 2011, believed the embassies' justifications for the transactions were too vague or disproportionate to the amounts — up to 500,000 euros at a time — these people said. In one case, a large cash withdrawal was said to be for "refurbishment", one person added. Now the bank and the watchdog want to reduce the possibility that the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), as the bank is called, could be an unwitting vehicle for money laundering and other illicit finances. Four people with knowledge of the matter said the closure of the accounts was likely to be a key recommendation of a broad review that Pope Francis has ordered of the bank, whose scandal-tainted history has long been an embarrassment for the Holy See. The review is set to be completed by the end of the year. It is the thorniest part of nascent efforts by the world's smallest state to open itself up to more outside scrutiny. The process ostensibly began under the former Pope Benedict, but was thwarted by conflicts among Vatican officials and an Italian money-laundering investigation. The IOR is a private bank - currently with about 7.1 billion euros in assets under management - whose stated goal is to hold and manage funds for religious orders of priests and nuns, Catholic charities, Vatican employees, and other Catholic institutions. But the number of account holders has swelled to 19,000 over the years and diversified beyond the original categories with the right to hold accounts. Fewer than two dozen of the 180 countries accredited to the Vatican have accounts at the IOR; many Western states such as the United States and Britain do not. Reuters has learned that the Financial Information Authority (AIF), the Holy See's financial watchdog, wrote to the IOR in the second half of 2011 expressing its concern over several cash withdrawals and deposits by the embassies of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to the people with knowledge of the situation. The transactions - which were registered at the Vatican border in line with Vatican and European Union requirements that amounts of more than 10,000 euros in cash or equivalent be declared at customs - caught the eye of the AIF because of their origin, frequency and amounts. Iran, Iraq and Indonesia are classified by international institutions and governance bodies as countries at high risk of financial crimes. The Holy See's regulators also thought the justifications for the withdrawals, including one that simply said "personnel", were vague, these people said. It was not clear where the money for the cash deposits came from. The Iranian and Iraqi embassies to the Vatican said they had no comment on the cash movements or the concerns raised by regulators. The Indonesian ambassador to the Vatican, Bahar Budiarman, said that his embassy takes out up to 10,000 euros at a time from its IOR account and that the money is destined for personal use and petty cash. For bigger amounts, wire transfers are used, said Budiarman, who has been ambassador since early 2012. An IOR spokesman stated in emails that the bank does not comment on matters concerning the AIF and that the IOR had no comment on the possible closure of embassy accounts. The AIF said that "it does not give details about cases it investigates and does not comment on the....review of the bank". The review of the IOR has gained momentum under Pope Francis, who became pontiff in March this year. In June, he created a special commission to advise him on how to reform the bank, and has not ruled out closing it altogether. "If pulls off a restructuring of the IOR and gives it real oversight and transparency, it would go a long way towards
8 days ago
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he wants a missionary church with a modern spirit that gives hope to the poor, young and elderly, speaking as key meetings begin on church reform.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he wants a missionary church with a modern spirit that gives hope to the poor, young and elderly, speaking as key meetings begin on church reform.
8 days ago