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Pope Benedict XVI delivers a blistering attack on thedecadence of today's society:

"Lord, we have lost oursenseof sin...spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult ofSatan,...."

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, CLASSmagazine, USAfricaonline.comand IgboEvents

Pope condemns geneticists 'who play at beingGod'
The Times  (London) April 14, 2006. By Ruth Gledhill,Religion Correspondent

THE Pope will deliver a blistering attack on the "satanic" moresof modern society today, warning against an "inane apologia of evil"that is in danger of destroying humanity. In a series of Good Fridaymeditations that he will lead in Rome, the Pope will say that societyis in the grip of a kind of "anti-Genesis" described as "a diabolicalpride aimed at eliminating the family". He will pray for society tobe cleansed of the "filth" that surrounds it and be restored topurity, freed from "decadent narcissism".

Particular condemnation is reserved for scientific advances in thefield of genetic manipulation. Warning against the move to "modifythe very grammar of life as planned and willed by God", the Pope willlead prayers against "insane, risky and dangerous" ventures inattempting "to take God's place without being God".

The Pope has not actually composed the prayers for the traditionalWay of the Cross, but is certain to have given his blessing to theGood Friday meditations at the Colosseum.

Their author is Archbishop Angelo Comastri, Vicar General atVatican City. The tone of the meditations is striking in its contrastto the contemporary fashion for feel-good religion.

While some will regard their emphasis on sin and the dark side ofhuman nature as retrograde, others will welcome them as a sign of thestrong and conservative leadership that Pope Benedict XVI was electedto provide. All Roman Catholic churches and many others, includingAnglican churches in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, celebrate aliturgy around the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

The 14 stations begin with Jesus's condemnation to death, takeChristians through meditations of the "Way of the Cross" and theCrucifixion and end with the laying of Jesus's body in the tomb. ThePope wrote the meditations himself for last year's Way of the Crossin Rome. But today's Catholic prayers, published in Italian this weekand in English on the Zenit website yesterday, go further than mostin their thorough denunciation of contemporary culture.

At the Third Station of the Cross, where Jesus falls for thefirst time, Archbishop Comastri has written: "Lord, we have lost oursense of sin. Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading aninane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desirefor transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exaltingimpulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heightsof sophistication."

At the Fourth Station, where Jesus is helped by Simon theCyrene to carry the cross, Pope Benedict and his followers will pray:"Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainmenthas become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society'sincessant, tedious message is an invitation to die ofselfishness."

One of the strongest meditations warns against the attack onthe family. "Today we seem to be witnessing a kind of anti-Genesis, acounter-plan, a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating thefamily."

There is a moving meditation for the Eighth Station, where Jesusmeets the women of Jerusalem, describing the "River of tears shed bymothers, mothers of the crucified, mothers of murderers, mothers ofdrug addicts, mothers of terrorists, mothers of rapists, mothers ofpsychopaths, but mothers all the same". 

The Pope will also confront the question of evil in the world in ameditation that asks: "Where is Jesus in the agony of our own time,in the division of our world into belts of prosperity and belts ofpoverty . . . in one room they are concerned about obesity, in theother, they are begging for charity?"
Ruth Gledhill's weblog

Special and Exclusive to and CLASSmagazine, Houston
. Asthe facilitator of inter-religious dialogue, Arinze has seenandinteracted with differing religionists who, to varying degrees,embody zealotry and reason, lucidity of thought and rock-ribbeddogmatisms. By being a major voice for Roman Catholicism in Africa,he has enriched the goals of the Vatican to win more souls to thatunique section of the Christian community.

In deftly respecting andshowing sensitivity to the cultural contexts for religiousevangelization and work in different regions of the world, Arinze (aNigerian, like me, from the south eastern Igbo ethnic group as is theliterary giant Prof. Chinua Achebe) seems a fitting bridge for acommon, shared theology of humankind. Our brother, The Cardinal, isneither extreme in words nor brash in personal conduct, he alsostands as a role model who should be emulated by many, especially inthe community of his natural origin, the Nigerian community. Amongother qualities, he shows scholarship and a rare balance of reasonand theology. May your pastrorallineage endure.By Chido Nwangwu,Founder and Publisher, and recipient of JournalismExcellence award (1999).

CLICKon Arinze's picture or here for full report of this essay firstwritten online on April 7,1999, updated on April 25, 2002 and April1, 2005

Millions yearned: it's time for anAfrican or Latino as Pope. By Dr. Earl OfariHutchinson
DEMOCRACYWATCH: What Bush Should TellObasanjo.... By ChidoNwangwu (Founder and Publisher of TodayMarch 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush also met a few daysearlier with Liberia's Sirleaf, new face of Africa; welcomedNigeria's President retiredGeneral Olusegun Obasanjo, an old face of Africa, to thank him forregional support of the U.S.,discuss "strengthening democraticinstitutions, and the need to bring Charles Taylor to justice." (Bothpresidents are seen in this 2004 USAfrica news archive picture). Thevisit comes against the current background of the outrageous nonsenseparroted by hangers-on and political idol worshippers, thephilistines of Nigeria's politics who have since become the domesticand international canvassers of the indecent baloney that: Nigeria'sconstitution must be amended for one man, retired General OlusegunObasanjo, to govern for a 3rd 4-year term (12 years!). This they, shamelessly, claim is for Nigeria's survival. Worse, they addthat without Obasanjo, there will be no progress, criminality of thepolitical economy will abound and the polity will collapse. Goodheavens! Thesheer hubris that Nigeria can only move forward only by the "divine"and eternal governance of a 74-year former dictator Obasanjo issimply stupefying and immoral, to say the veryleast.  Hence, the enabled executors and conductors of thisfolly on behalf of Obasanjo only remind me of the infamous words ofthe 17th century  French monarch, Louis X1V (1638-1715) whoreportedly said "L'État, c'est moi"  meaning  "I amthe State." If only Obasanjo could drive us back to the 17th century;only there was no Nigeria, at the time.

In comparison, while Liberia's Madam President Sirleaf representsthe manifestation of the triumph of popular constitutional methodsand emerging institutional democratic values in Africa, retiredGeneral Obasanjo's imperious, know-it-all, emerging project for asit-tight  presidency in Nigeria remind us all of the 1970sold Africa where constitution-tweaking soldiers (his colleagues) andpower drunks  funnily believed their country's sun rose andshone at their hideous and idiosyncratic say-so. We won't go backthere; no; not now that we  have the great Nelson Mandelaas our icon, historical benchmark and reference point. Obasanjo makesit difficult for Obasanjo to be a statesman; no doubt, he's aregional leader.

As a specialist on US. and Africa public policy and culturalissues, here are things I'll suggest President Bush tell PresidentObasanjo, in a short, sweet but realistic summary: Fullcommentary here


CNNInternational interview with Nigeria'sPresident Obasanjo and Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues

SPECIAL EVENT: 2006 BEST OF AFRICA Awards FRIDAY May 5, andSATURDAY MAY 6, 2006, at the Hilton Towers Westchase in Houston.CLASS magazine, USAfrica and (characterized by TheNew York Times as the largest and most influential African-owned,U.S-based multimedia networks), will hold the USAfrica 14thinternationally-acclaimed 2006 BEST OF AFRICA Awards annual dinner inhonor of African professionals and its annual Mothers' Day Honors onFRIDAY MAY 5, and SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006. It will be, as usual, aninvitation-only event. The Banquet and Honors event will hold onFriday May 5, 2006. The USAfrica forum on "Obasanjo, 2007 andNigeria's 3rd term politics: implications for Nigeria's future'USAfrica was founded in May 1992, in Houston, Texas by televisionbroadcaster and multimedia media executive Chido Nwangwu.

NOMINATEsome professionals and community builders with brief reasons theyshould be considered for an award. Contact USAfrica/CLASS eventmanagers Alverna Johnson, Mercy Okorie and Chuck Obazei at713-270-5500. or cellphone 832-45-CHIDO (24436) -