Posted by Kendall Harmon

ESPN Films, creators of the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 film series, will premiere a new series in April surrounding the 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN. 30 for 30: Soccer Stories will include a mix of standalone feature-length and 30-minute-long documentary films from an award winning group of filmmakers telling compelling narratives from around the international soccer landscape.

“With ESPN being the home of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we know that sports fans will be looking forward to high quality content focused on what is perhaps the world’s most revered sport,” said Connor Schell, VP of ESPN Films and Original Content. “We feel this is the perfect time to expand upon the success of our 30 for 30 series by focusing this collection on some of the incredible stories of soccer’s legendary past.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryMediaMovies & TelevisionSports* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ed: Some are estimating that in the next couple of decades, they'll be more evangelicals in Brazil than in the United States. It's already the second largest mission-sending country in the world by some measurements. Honduras may be as much as half evangelical Christians now. With all these shifts of numbers of believers, what will that do in terms of global leadership? We've already seen the Anglican Global South assert its authority as the majority. How will this shift play out in the coming years?

Dr. Jenkins: So much of this change has happened very recently – within 30, 40, 50 years, which in the span of Christian history is not great. It's hardly surprising that some institutions have not adapted fully to take account of that. Other churches, however, recognize it. On a typical Sunday, there are more Assemblies of God worshippers in the greater San Paulo, Brazil area than in the United States. It's a radical change.

Let me suggest to you that in 30 years, there will be two sorts of church in the world. There'll be the ones that are multi-ethnic, transnational, and multi-continental. They are constantly battling over issues of culture, lifestyle, worship, and constantly in conflict, debate and controversy. And those are the good ones. The other churches will have decided to let all these trends pass them by. They'll live just like they've always done with an average age in their congregations of 80. Personally, I'd much rather be in one of the ones that is recognizing, taking account of the expansion with all the debates and controversies.

Read it all (and please note this is part three of a series and the links for the first two parts are provided in the top section introducing this interview).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistory* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Theology

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Posted April 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The original idea for a monument to Christ came from a group of Brazilians who, in the wake of World War One, feared an advancing tide of godlessness. Church and state had been separated when Brazil became a republic at the end of the previous century, and they saw the statue as a way of reclaiming Rio – then Brazil’s capital city – for Christianity.

The first proposal was for a bronze statue of Christ on Sugar Loaf - the giant lump of rock with a smooth, curved summit that rises out of the ocean at the entrance to Guanabara Bay. But it was soon decided that Corcovado (“hunch back”) - a peak in the forested hills behind the city - was a better location.

Da Silva Costa, whose design was chosen in February 1922, imagined the statue facing the rising sun: “The statue of the divine saviour shall be the first image to emerge from the obscurity in which the earth is plunged and to receive the salute of the star of the day which, after surrounding it with its radiant luminosity, shall build at sunset around its head a halo fit for the Man-God,” he wrote....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchArtReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* TheologyChristology

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Posted March 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The fundraising activities of one of the world’s wealthiest evangelical churches have come under scrutiny after dozens of complaints.
Members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God went house-to-house raising funds this Christmas “to keep the church doors open”, despite accounts filed last month showing that it had £2.7 million in the bank. Globally, the rapidly expanding Brazilian-based Church has assets estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Its British arm has sent hundreds of thousands of pounds to Brazil to help to build an “exact replica” of the biblical temple of Solomon at a cost of £130 million.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 14, 2014 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the fall of 2012, Wilmington resident Mike Moran said a ‘see you soon’ goodbye to his son Brendan Moran as he stepped aboard a flight to Brazil to continue his work with a sex trafficking ministry there called Shores of Grace Ministries.

Brendan sent newsletters each month letting his friends and family know how he was doing in Recife, Brazil, producing music for Nic and Rachael Billman, a Pennsylvania couple who founded Shores of Grace. Brendan was working to record the work of the ministry there as one of their music directors.

The Billman’s moved to Brazil to work with the prostitute and street children populations there in late 2010, bringing their four children with them and building a ministry staff who speak Portuguese. The ministry holds church on the streets of Recife, organizes well water projects for communities in a desert region outside of Recife and hosts Father’s Love Banquets where they invite Brazilian prostitutes to a formal dinner. Another of the ministry’s goals was to open Project Bethany to house young girls who were leaving prostitution or trafficking situations. In the fall of 2013, Shores of Grace opened its first rescue house with 10 girls.

Now the Moran family is bringing the Billman’s to the Wilmington area to speak about their sex trafficking ministry.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish Ministry* Culture-WatchGlobalizationSexualityViolence* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted January 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Persecution is growing because Christianity is growing in the places where people are persecuted,” said Todd Johnson of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Speaking during a Dec. 5 media call, he characterized anti-Christian persecution as “growing fast.” His research estimates that one in five Christians, 500 million people, currently live in countries where Christians are likely to be persecuted. By 2020, their numbers are expected to rise to 600 million, 25% of the Christian population.

Johnson noted that the Christian population has significantly shifted from Europe and North America to the “Global South”: Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaAsiaSouth America

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Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Friday, the faithful throngs crowded along Copacabana beach to walk the Stations of the Cross, life-sized constructions along Avenida Atlantica, at which the cross of World Youth Day and the Icon of Our Lady paused and the dramatization of each station was televised on the multiple big screens along the beach. At the end of the procession, the cross was raised on the stage from which the Pope delivered a sermon in a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. For Oliver Petter from the Diocese of London, currently in his second year of seminary in Oxford, Friday evening’s events were particularly impressive. The difference in the symbolism in Brazil was of note for him – he commented that many countries perform the stations of the cross with a ‘body’ present, but: “…to process with an empty cross here with a crown of thorns… it symbolizes absence, loss… and yet 1 million people there on the beach, such a manifestation of resurrection, in stillness and reverence… that was very moving…”'

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchTeens / Youth* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On his debut abroad the first Latin American pope put a spring in the church’s step in the world’s largest Roman Catholic country. He also—with a long, informal press conference—underlined the new style that his papacy has brought, heralding a softer tone on sexual issues, and a tougher line on Vatican cliques.

Humble and plain-speaking, Francis drew huge crowds despite the wet and cold of the southern winter. His energy and urgency was a marked break with the sense of drift that has afflicted the Latin American church. And it contrasted with two lacklustre visits by his cerebral predecessor, Benedict. A final mass on Rio’s Copacabana beach drew 1m people: a record rivalled only by John Paul II’s trips to Poland. He told them: “Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the margins of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.” At a meeting of bishops, he called for a new “missionary spirit” and decried “obsolete structures”. He led by example, visiting a favela (slum) and meeting the sick, young offenders and former drug addicts.

In word and deed, that was a rebuke to the church for its retreat from the poor urban peripheries, where Pentecostalist competitors have flourished. He also, by implication, challenged the Pentecostalists’ theology, often a gung-ho message of prosperity through piety, with a forthright attack on capitalism’s “disposable” culture.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted August 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Pernambuco Court of Appeal (Tribunal de Justiça do Estado de Pernambuco) has stayed a lower court decision giving ownership of church properties in the state to the minority faction loyal to the national Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB). The effect of last week’s decision is to return custody of the church properties to the Diocese of Recife and its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Miguel Uchôa, while the court conducts a de novo review of the dispute.

On 31 July 2013 Bishop Uchôa told Anglican Ink the diocese was ready to turn over the properties to the IEAB but on “the 21st the state high court judged our appeal and gave us a positive answer. The state high court judges will now review the case. It means that they accepted [the case for study] and said ‘no’ to the first judge who had given the [properties] to the IEAB.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But what do you remember?

Throngs of flag-waving, chanting, cheering, singing, praying, young people extending for as far as the eye can see? A motorcade moving slowly through a vibrating, pulsating mass of humanity while a smiling Pope gestures, waves, and dispenses blessings to left and right? All this against one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural backdrops in the world: the beach of Copacabana and the mountain of Corcovado. And of course you remember the babies – babies and more babies, being kissed and cuddled and caressed by the Pope. But maybe you were paying particular attention and you also recall a visit to a slum and a hospital and a meeting with young prisoners and a prayer vigil and a papal pilgrimage to a Marian shrine…
But do you remember what he said?

“Promote justice and dialogue to hear the cry of the poor”, “Serve the community and a culture of encounter”, “Christ shares the crosses we carry in our lives”, “Is ours a Church that can still warm hearts?”, “Grandparents are important: the aged and the young build the future together”, “Faith isn’t a fruit-salad: don’t water it down”, “The Church is close to those suffering from addictions”, “Christian hope means being surprised by God”, “We cannot be part of a throwaway culture”, “Ours is a revolutionary Faith”, “Those who don’t go to Church are the VIP’s invited to the Lord’s table”, “We must learn how to embrace those in need”, “Jesus asks us to play on his team”…

Read and listen to it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The second attitude: openness to being surprised by God. Anyone who is a man or a woman of hope - the great hope which faith gives us - knows that even in the midst of difficulties God acts and he surprises us. The history of this Shrine is a good example: three fishermen, after a day of catching no fish, found something unexpected in the waters of the Parnaíba River: an image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Whoever would have thought that the site of a fruitless fishing expedition would become the place where all Brazilians can feel that they are children of one Mother? God always surprises us, like the new wine in the Gospel we have just heard. God always saves the best for us. But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

By all accounts, Pope Francis has already won over many hearts in Brazil with his simplicity and message of caring for the poor. But as he travels the country on his first overseas trip as pontiff, he will be speaking to a group of young Catholics who hold far more liberal views than the church hierarchy on a number of issues, including female priests, homosexuality and abortion.

After arriving in Rio to enormous crowds on Monday, the pope spent Tuesday resting and having private meetings at the Sumare residence where Pope John Paul stayed in 1980 and 1997. Thousands of young pilgrims filled a rainy Copacabana beach to attend a series of religious-themed concerts that were part of World Youth Day, which, despite the name, is a five-day event that began Tuesday and is ostensibly the reason for the pope's visit to Brazil.

But the young people Francis encounters are not necessarily representative of young Catholics worldwide, and they hold some views that run sharply counter to those espoused by Francis and the Roman Catholic Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchTeens / Youth* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

3 Comments
Posted July 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christianity in Brazil is big business — not only are major superstar pastors represented at the convention, but businesses like Sony Music have booths as well.

Brothers Lucas and Renault Lourenço have been singing together since they were in their teens, and together they are the Brazilian evangelical version of the boy band. Now in their early 20s — sporting matching faux hawks and wearing jeans — they came to reach out to their established fans and sell records to new ones.

"This fair attracts many people, even people who are not evangelicals, which is essential because that way people will know the gospel and so every day there will be even more of us evangelicals," Renault says.

Read (or listen to) it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted July 23, 2013 at 6:57 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A month ago, hundreds of thousands of young people took to the streets of Brazil to protest corruption, wasteful government spending, bad schools and hospitals, police brutality, and other abuses of power. On Monday, Pope Francis, in his first venture abroad, will dive into the middle of that ferment when he begins a weeklong visit to the world’s largest Roman Catholic country.

“This is a crucial moment for the church, the nation, society and the people, heightened by the fact this is Francis’ first trip,” said Fernando Altemeyer Jr., a theologian and philosopher at the Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo. “Brazil has changed and things are bubbling, but there is no clarity. Everything is new and unknown, in the country and the church, even for the bishops.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 20, 2013 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Pentecost Sunday all hell broke loose in Rome. Following Mass that day, the unpredictable Pope Francis laid hands on a demon-possessed man from Mexico and prayed for him. The YouTube video of this encounter was flashed around the world, and the story caught fire: Is Pope Francis an exorcist? The Holy Father’s Vatican handlers were quick to deny such. The pope simply offered a prayer of deliverance for the distraught man, it was said. Exorcism in the Catholic Church is a sacramental, a sacred act producing a spiritual effect, which must be done according to the officially prescribed Rite of Exorcism. And yet what the pope did on Pentecost Sunday in St. Peter’s Square was more than a simple prayer for someone to get better. It looked for all the world like a real act of spiritual warfare.

Timothy GeorgeThe scene now shifts to South America, the continent where Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born and has spent most of his life. The place: All Saints Church, in Steenrijk, Curaçao, in the Anglican Diocese of Venezuela. The date: May 12, 2013, one week before the pope’s exorcism-like event in Rome. The preacher: The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church (formerly known as ECUSA). When she was elected to her post in 2006, Father Richard John Neuhaus described it as an occasion of great sadness. His reaction reflected neither personal animus nor schadenfreudlich glee. Rather, he saw her accession to this high office as likely to deepen the pain and division within the Christian community. Sadly, he was right.

In Venezuela, Bishop Katharine also confronted a demon—the one found in her sermon text for the day, Acts 16:16-24. This is Luke’s account of Paul’s exorcism of a manic slave girl in Philippi. The bishop’s sermon was really a polemic against what she called, in postmodernist lingo, “discounting and devaluing difference.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeItalySouth AmericaVenezuela* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted June 3, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican-Catholic dialogue is back on the agenda this week as a team of ecumenical experts from both sides meet in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro from April 30th to May 6th.
This 3rd meeting of the current Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission will continue its work on the relationship between local and universal Church, as well as the way in which both communities respond to the most pressing ethical issues of our time.

To find out more about the meeting, Philippa Hitchen talked to Mgr Mark Langham from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity who serves as Catholic co-secretary of ARCIC III…..
She also spoke, during the recent enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, to an Anglican member of ARCIC III, Bishop Christopher Hill who chairs the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity. He told her that Pope Francis’ emphasis on his role as the Bishop of Rome is extremely encouraging for the whole ecumenical endeavor…

Listen to it all (about 8 1/2 minutes).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 2003, after the Episcopal Church consecrated the first openly gay bishop within the Anglican Communion, the Province of the Southern Cone severed its relationship with the Episcopal Church. It also broke communion with the Anglican Church of Canada after one of its dioceses in 2002 authorized a rite for blessing same-sex unions. Are you still in broken communion with these two provinces?
Yes. In 2010 when an earthquake struck in Chile, I received many, many phone calls from [the Episcopal Church Center in] New York offering us money. But I said no; not out of arrogance but because we had broken communion with TEC and it would not be right to accept their money.

Did you ask permission of the local Anglican Church of Canada bishop to visit here?
No, because I am coming to another, different Anglican church.

n 2003, the Province of the Southern Cone offered Episcopal oversight to conservative Anglicans who had left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada but who wanted to realign with another province. Does this make you a primate of the Anglican Church in North America along with its elected primate, Bob Duncan?

No. That is over. We provided temporary supervision. When ACNA was founded in Texas in 2008 the very next day I had breakfast with Bishop John Guernsey and said, “My churches in the States will now be under your supervision. Let me know what I should do to pass them to you.” Others like [Bishops] Frank Lyons of Bolivia and Greg Venables may have taken a bit more time but the Southern Cone decided to pass the [North American] churches to the new ACNA primate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & PrimatesGAFCON I 2008Instruments of UnitySexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After an intense, busy but fascinating few days in Argentina, I've finally found space to write my first blog update, so here goes.

After recovering from the 13 hour flight we spent the first full day learning about the history of Argentina, the present financial and political climate, and the Anglican Church. There will be much to share about the political and financial situation and its impact on daily life when I return. Suffice to say there's much anxiety and fear about levels of crime and violence. But the people of Argentina are resilient and optimistic and I experienced that in the people I have met.

90% of population still have some vestiges of faith, enough not to abandon it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaArgentina

2 Comments
Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Argentina, they say that if you want to understand the priestly soul of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, then you have to know the villas miserias, literally "villas of misery," meaning the slums in Buenos Aires where the poorest of the poor are found.

According to Fr. Juan Isasmendi, who lives and works in one of the villas, this is where the future Pope Francis filled his lungs with the "oxygen" he needed to think about what the church ought to be.

There are roughly 20 of these slums in Buenos Aires, often just a block or so away from gleaming high-rise office towers and luxury apartment buildings. Bergoglio's pastoral revolution was to hand-pick a cadre of especially strong, dedicated priests not just to visit the villas but to live and work here, sharing the lives of the people down to the last detail.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaArgentina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

1 Comments
Posted April 9, 2013 at 11:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The pope comes, and then I beat [Andy] Murray and Novak,"... [Juan Martin del Potro] said. "There could be something there."

His grin was as huge as his forehand. OK, nothing is quite that big.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchSports* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaArgentina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted March 17, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first Jesuit pope? Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. Bergoglio is an old-school Jesuit, formed by classic Ignatian spirituality and deeply committed to an intelligent, sophisticated appropriation and proclamation of the full symphony of Catholic truth — qualities not notable for their prevalence among members of the Society of Jesus in the early 21st century. I suspect there were not all that many champagne corks flying last night in those Jesuit residences throughout the world where the Catholic Revolution That Never Was is still regarded as the ecclesiastical holy grail. For the shrewder of the new pope’s Jesuit brothers know full well that that dream was just dealt another severe blow. And they perhaps fear that this pope, knowing the Society of Jesus and its contemporary confusions and corruptions as he does, just might take in hand the reform of the Jesuits that was one of the signal failures of the pontificate of John Paul II.

There will be endless readings of the tea leaves in the days ahead as the new pope, by word and gesture, offers certain signals as to his intentions and his program. But the essentials are already known. This is a keenly intelligent, deeply holy, humble, and shrewd man of the Gospel. He knows that he has been elected as a reformer, and the reforms he will implement are the reforms that will advance the New Evangelization. The rest is detail: important detail, to be sure, but still detail. The course is set, and the Church’s drive into the Evangelical Catholicism of the future has been accelerated by the pope who introduced himself to his diocese, and to the world, by bowing deeply as he asked for our prayers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaArgentina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted March 16, 2013 at 8:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Pope Francis stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside. The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him," Cardinal Dolan said. "Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis. The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.South AmericaArgentina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted March 14, 2013 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Vatican press briefing by Federico Lombardi s.j. March 14th
Coverage:
Thursday, March 14th
+ Reuters - New pope slips out of Vatican for morning prayer visit
+ Anglican Ink - Francis a friend to Argentine Anglicans
+ Anglican Ink - Anglican accolades for Francis
+ Independent - Falkland Islanders greet election of Argentine as Pope Francis I with surprise
+ Guardian - Pope Francis: the reaction back home
+ BBC - Profile: Pope Francis
+ Telegraph - Pope Francis: interactive panorama shows thousands thronging St Peter’s Square
Wednesday, March 13th
+ Catholic Herald - Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio: a profile
+ CNS: Argentina's Cardinal Bergoglio elected pope, chooses Francis
+ Vatican Radio - Who is Pope Francis?
+ Reuters - Live updates with world reaction
+ BBC Live reaction

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaArgentina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

2 Comments
Posted March 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was Pep Guardiola, the former manager of Barcelona, who once suggested that Lionel Messi should be observed instead of dissected. He is, after all, widely considered the world’s greatest soccer player, not a biology project.

“Don’t try to write about him,” Guardiola said. “Don’t try to describe him. Watch him.”

On Sunday, Messi set an international record by scoring his 86th goal in a calendar year, for both Barcelona and the Argentine national team, delivering an average of one goal every four days, more frequently than a starting pitcher takes the mound, as often as Starbucks opens a new store in China.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMenSports* International News & CommentaryEuropeSpainSouth AmericaArgentina

0 Comments
Posted December 12, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all. Simply stunning.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMenSports* International News & CommentaryEuropeSpainSouth AmericaArgentina

1 Comments
Posted December 12, 2012 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was once the case that Brazilians worshipped as one in the thousands of Catholic churches spread around this vast country. But a religious revolution is taking place, and a new dynamic form of charismatic Evangelical Christianity is taking over. A quarter of Brazilians now worship in Evangelical churches, many of them practicing the Prosperity gospel which promises them happiness and fulfilment in return for a proportion of their wealth. And its wealth, along with power and influence, which the Catholic Church previously claimed as its own, is the result of this increased membership. Paulo Cabral investigates why Brazilians are turning form the Catholicism which has had a presence in Brazil for over 500 years, and how the charismatic churches have become so popular changing the way many Brazilians in some of the poorest areas of the country profess their faith and accumulating this vast wealth and political power along the way.

Check it out (27 minutes via listening link or download).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

0 Comments
Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here’s a quiz: Google received more than 1,900 requests from governments worldwide to remove content from its various services last year. Which country led the planet in this dubious category, with 418 such demands?

China? Iran? Syria?

No. It was democratic, pluralistic, economically vibrant Brazil.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted October 5, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A public statement applauding steps toward peace talks in Colombia was issued recently by representatives of churches and ecumenical organizations that form the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council (CEDECOL), the Ecumenical Network in Colombia and the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI).

The statement, released on 28 August and responding to an announcement that the Colombian government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army) were working on a proposal to start peace talks, expressed thankfulness to God and hope for a more peaceful future in the country, which has been wracked by decades of conflict. The peace talks are scheduled to begin 8 October in Norway and may also include the National Liberation Army (ELN).

“The people of Colombia deserve peace with justice,” Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), said in response to the ecumenical statement and the potential for peace talks. “As an ecumenical community, we ask all WCC member churches to pray that the process of peace talks will proceed as soon as possible.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaColombia* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical Relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 10, 2012 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"We are facing more obstacles than we ever have before, but this is no surprise. This believer represents the very first person who wants to be baptized in this place. Satan's not just going to give that up easily," [John]Costa said.

For [Aaron] Juergens, that's no reason to quit, but encouragement to persevere, even in sickness and freezing temperatures atop a mountain.

"I'm up there, wearing six jackets and three gloves and five socks and I really just kind of want to sit in a bed," he said. "But then you think about those people (who haven't heard yet). If we turn around, who is going to come next? I mean, how many people have turned around? The world is getting smaller. The day is coming when everybody is going to have no excuse whatsoever for not hearing. There's no excuse for turning back.

"We keep going."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth America* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptists* TheologySoteriology

2 Comments
Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

That Western governments preferably want WikiLeaks crushed is indisputable. Former US soldier Bradley Manning languished in solitary confinement for 11 months on suspicion of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, leading to the UN's special rapporteur on torture to accuse the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. A US grand jury is currently examining evidence that might link Assange to Manning, though it is yet to report. Fears that Assange could end up extradited to the US – and what might happen to him there – are not without foundation.

But that does not mean Assange should be immune from very serious allegations in Sweden. Two women have both accused Assange of rape, and there have been repeated attempts by some of his supporters to discredit them. There have been suggestions that they are part of some kind of CIA honeytrap. The campaigning journalist John Pilger has described them as "concocted charges". But Assange's own lawyer, Ben Emmerson, does not dispute the sincerity of the accusers, arguing in court: "Nothing I say should be taken as denigrating the complainant, the genuineness of their feelings of regret, to trivialise their experience or to challenge whether they felt Assange's conduct was disrespectful, discourteous, disturbing or even pushing at the boundaries of what they felt comfortable with."

But what has been particularly disturbing is the attempt by some supporters of Assange to claim that the allegations do not constitute rape....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKSouth AmericaEcuador

4 Comments
Posted August 17, 2012 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To its critics in the church, the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru is not deserving of its name. It has spurned the pontiff, they say. It is far from Roman Catholic orthodoxy, they argue. In their minds, the school ought to be called something else entirely.

“It’s false advertising,” said Fernán Altuve, a conservative legal expert who supports a recent order by the Vatican that the school change its name by eliminating references to the pope and the church. “It’s as if I sell you a bottle that says Coca-Cola but what’s inside is Pepsi.”

The fight over the name of what is considered one of the top universities in South America is part of a fierce battle over academic freedom and the authority of the Vatican that is unfolding here. La Católica, as the school is known, is the alma mater of many of Peru’s elite, including President Ollanta Humala.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaPeru* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted August 8, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Via email--KSH).

After discussion and prayer and in accord with its canons the Provincial Executive of the Cono Sur together with its College of Bishops, did not ratify the election of the Ven. Dr. Michael Pollesel as bishop-coadjutor for Uruguay. The meeting took place this past week in Montevideo (21 to 25 May). Pollesel previously had served the Anglican Church of Canada as its Secretary General. At the same time the Province promised its close cooperation with the diocese in its future decisions.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesCono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaUruguay

5 Comments
Posted May 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeronimo de Castro Abreu Magalhaes was born in Mage, and Zelia Pedreira Abreu Magalhaes in Niteroi. They were married on July 27, 1876, in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

He was a civil engineer and she was a lawyer, with a fine artistic, literary and scientific formation, so that at 14 she translated the work of Cesare Cantu Il Giovinetto from Italian to Portuguese.

From the moment they met, Jeronimo and Zelia always wanted to please God, when in their exchange of looks it was already clear that their falling in love would be different, said Father Roberto Lopes, who is in charge of the processes of canonization of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted May 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Europe threw its weight behind Spain yesterday after a diplomatic war broke out between Madrid and Buenos Aires over Argentina’s decision to take over a multibillion-pound energy company.

In the wake of tensions between Britain and Argentina on the anniversary earlier this month of the Falklands invasion, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner risked further alienation around the world by pushing ahead with the nationalisation of Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF), in which Repsol, a Spanish energy group, has a majority shareholding.

In response, Spain launched a trade and diplomatic offensive against Argentina, rallying allies in Brussels and the G20 against the move to take over 51 per cent of YPF.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural ResourcesForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeSpainSouth AmericaArgentina

0 Comments
Posted April 18, 2012 at 9:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Frank Lyons has been called by Archbishop Robert Duncan, and with unanimous support from the Standing Committee, to serve as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. As Assistant Bishop, Lyons will assist with pastoral care and oversight to clergy and congregations in the Diocese of Pittsburgh during Archbishop Duncan’s tenure as archbishop. Bishop Lyons will also exercise a special superintendence of diocesan congregations located beyond the Pittsburgh area.

“We are delighted to welcome Bishop Frank and his wife, Shawnee, to the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Bishop Frank is a highly capable leader who brings with him a wealth of experience. I am confident that he will provide the support our clergy and congregations need during this amazing period in our life together as a diocese,” said Archbishop Duncan.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBolivia

2 Comments
Posted April 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Not far from Copacabana Beach here is a control room that looks straight out of NASA.

City employees in white jumpsuits work quietly in front of a giant wall of screens — a sort of virtual Rio, rendered in real time. Video streams in from subway stations and major intersections. A sophisticated weather program predicts rainfall across the city. A map glows with the locations of car accidents, power failures and other problems.

The order and precision seem out of place in this easygoing Brazilian city, which on this February day was preparing for the controlled chaos that is Carnaval. But what is happening here reflects a bold and potentially lucrative experiment that could shape the future of cities around the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireScience & TechnologyUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop John Ellison, the former Bishop of Paraguay who is now an assistant bishop in the Winchester diocese, told The Times: “I have known Bishop Cavalcanti for over 30 years, from when he was involved in student ministry in the South American scene. He was held in high regard as a Christian leader across South America. He was regarded as a key person by political leaders across the continent.”

Bishop Henry Scriven, the South American mission director for the Church Mission Society, said: “It is with great shock and sadness that we heard the news this morning of the death last night of Bishop and Mrs Cavalcanti. Bishop Robinson was a fearless defender of the faith and had a heart for the poor and the disadvantaged. His wife Miriam was a great support at all times and they were known for their hospitality. The Diocese experienced significant growth in Bishop Robinson’s episcopate.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

2 Comments
Posted February 28, 2012 at 6:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A truly horrible story--read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

2 Comments
Posted February 28, 2012 at 6:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the 29th Extraordinary Synod held in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Montevideo, on December 9, 2011, an ample majority elected the Venerable Dr. Michael Pollesel as Bishop Coadjutor. Pollesel is the recent past General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, has functioned as secretary to the Metropolitan Council for Cuba, and has been a frequent visitor to the diocese. Bishop Peter Bartlett of Paraguay was the supervisor of the election for the Province. All candidates standing for election had to subscribe to the 1998 Lambeth resolution I.10 on human sexuality as a basis for eligibility.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaUruguay

1 Comments
Posted February 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

European leaders have reached a "three-pronged" agreement described as vital to solve the region's huge debt crisis.

They said banks holding Greek debt accepted a 50% loss, the eurozone bailout fund will be boosted and banks will have to raise more capital.

Shares on European markets rose sharply on news of the deal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankG20 Stock MarketThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Foreign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceSouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted October 27, 2011 at 6:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of the most dangerous and daunting challenges we face is global climate change. This is, at least in part, a direct result of our burning of fossil fuels. Such human activities could raise worldwide average temperatures by three to eleven degrees Fahrenheit in this century. Rising average temperatures are already wreaking environmental havoc, and, if unchecked, portend devastating consequences for every aspect of life on earth.

The Church has always had as one of its priorities a concern for the poor and the suffering. Therefore, we need not agree on the fundamental causes of human devastation of the environment, or on what standard of living will allow sustainable development, or on the roots of poverty in any particular culture, in order to work to minimize the impact of climate change. It is the poor and the disadvantaged who suffer most from callous environmental irresponsibility. Poverty is both a local and a global reality. A healthy economy depends absolutely on a healthy environment.

The wealthier nations whose industries have exploited the environment, and who are now calling for developing nations to reduce their impact on the environment, seem to have forgotten that those who consume most of the world's resources also have contributed the most pollution to the world's rivers and oceans, have stripped the world's forests of healing trees, have destroyed both numerous species and their habitats, and have added the most poison to the earth's atmosphere. We cannot avoid the conclusion that our irresponsible industrial production and consumption-driven economy lie at the heart of the current environmental crisis.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaEcuador* Theology

16 Comments
Posted September 26, 2011 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the "sake of the diocese" the leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Ecuador – including members of the Standing Committee, Bishop Luis Fernando Ruiz, the chancellor, its legal representative and all other diocesan leaders – have agreed to resign by Oct. 1.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Sept. 20 convened a meeting of the leadership, along with Bishop Victor Scantlebury and Bishop Clay Matthews, the Episcopal Church's bishop for pastoral development, at the Hilton Colón Hotel in Quito, where the agreement was reached.

By resigning their positions, the leadership yields its authority to the presiding bishop; she appointed Scantlebury, who had served as an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Chicago until he retired July 1 to serve as interim bishop.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC Conflicts* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaEcuador

12 Comments
Posted September 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC Bishops* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaEcuador

5 Comments
Posted September 19, 2011 at 6:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaVenezuela

9 Comments
Posted July 26, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wow.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchSportsWomen* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeGermanySouth AmericaBrazil

4 Comments
Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A special session of the general synod of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone will be held in November in Asunción, Paraguay to respond to the Nov 12, 2010 vote by the Diocese of Uruguay to quit the province and seek alternative metropolitan oversight.

In a statement released on behalf of the province by the Bishop of Bolivia on June 12, the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons reported the May 16-18 provincial executive council meeting agreed to bring forward by two years the next meeting of synod to respond to the diocese’s request.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesCono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaUruguay

4 Comments
Posted June 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Harold Macmillan, the prime minister who watched US power rise as the British empire crumbled, used to say that Britain would play ancient Greece to America’s Rome.

These days it looks as if Rome is declining too. The US finds it increasingly hard to drive forward its vision of international trade and economics over the objections of big emerging-market countries.

The Visigoths and the Vandals who sacked Rome and undermined its empire, though far more cultured and sophisticated than their popular reputation, were unable to replicate the Pax Romana order it had established. European territories previously under Roman rule fractured into an unstable array of weak kingdoms and embattled city-states. Similarly, the vacuum created today by the erosion of US hegemony and the turmoil in the eurozone is resulting in stasis rather than a new direction.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaEuropeMiddle EastSouth America

3 Comments
Posted June 15, 2011 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Maurico José Araújo de Andrade is a genial huggy-bear of a man who has been called to the helm of the Episcopal Church of Brazil in uncertain times.

Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country, both by mass (8.5 million square miles) and population (more than 200 million people). Most Brazilians call themselves Roman Catholic, but these days Pentecostals worship in about equal numbers. The presence of high-profile Pentecostals on the national football team is just one sign that the star of Pentecostalism continues to rise.

Roman Catholic parishes in Brazil are large, plentiful and highly visible. Most stay open all the time. Dotted all over cities and towns are tiny chapels of various Pentecostal affiliations. In the daytime they tend to be shuttered, but they come alive at night as people punctuate boisterous sermons with amens and pray fervently for promised material blessings.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest News* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

7 Comments
Posted April 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U.S. dollar's downward slide is accelerating as low interest rates, inflation concerns and the massive federal budget deficit undermine the currency.

With no relief in sight for the dollar on any of those fronts, the downward pressure on the dollar is widely expected to continue.

The dollar fell nearly 1% against a broad basket of currencies this week, following a drop of similar size last week. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index closed at its lowest level since August 2008, before the financial crisis intensified.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. GovernmentBudgetFederal ReserveThe National DeficitThe United States Currency (Dollar etc)* International News & CommentaryAsiaEuropeSouth America

1 Comments
Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also called for stronger regulation of commodity derivatives to dampen excessive volatility in food and energy prices, which they said posed new risks for the recovery of the world economy.

Meeting on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, they said the recent financial crisis had exposed the inadequacies of the current monetary order, which has the dollar as its linchpin.

What was needed, they said in a statement, was "a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty" -- thinly veiled criticism of what the BRICS see as Washington's neglect of its global monetary responsibilities.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2011 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With great sadness we have been witnessing a day of tragedy in a school environment, at Tasso da Silveira elementary school, in Rio de Janeiro.

It is time for us to discuss our security system, especially the security in our public schools. It was a beautiful day, which looked like a normal day, just one more day of school for so many young students of Tasso da Silveira elementary, in Rio de Janeiro.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary SourceAnglican ProvincesAnglican Episcopal Church of Brazil* Culture-WatchEducationViolence* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The number of people who see Brazil as having a positive influence in the world is rising rapidly, according to a BBC World Service poll of 27 countries.

The country is now regarded positively by 49%, compared to 40% last year - the largest jump by any of the 16 nations respondents are asked to comment on.

South Africa, host of the 2010 World Cup, posted the second biggest rise.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth AfricaSouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted March 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Each Province IX diocese – Honduras, the host diocese, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador Litoral, Central Ecuador and Colombia – is represented by a five-member team, including bishops, clergy and lay leaders. In addition, Cuba, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Swaziland and Zambia, as well as the Philippines, are represented.

Observers include staff from the Episcopal Church Center, Church Pension Group, Episcopal Relief & Development, Trinity Wall Street and the Episcopal Church Foundation. The conference is supported by Church Pension Group, Trinity Wall Street, Province IX and an Episcopal Church Constable Grant, which also will fund ongoing developmental work throughout the province over the next two years.

With the exception of Puerto Rico, all the dioceses of Province IX, plus Mexico, Cuba, and the other Central American churches, which are organized as the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America (IARCA), receive subsidies in varying amounts from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church. Offshore dioceses in Provinces II and VIII also receive grants.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* International News & CommentaryCaribbeanCentral AmericaSouth America

4 Comments
Posted March 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An “Ordinariate of Postulants” has been set up by the diocese of Peru in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone to host a growing number of Roman Catholic priests who are keen to join the Anglican Church.

In contrast to the situa­tion in England, where three former bishops recently joined the Ordinariate for former Anglicans established by Rome, clerics are making the reverse journey in South America.
The Bishop of Peru, the Rt Revd William God­frey, said that, so far, about ten RC priests had joined the new group to explore the possibility of switching denominations. Some may bring con­gregations with them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesCono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaPeru* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

9 Comments
Posted February 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in GeneralState Government* International News & CommentaryAfricaAsiaAustralia / NZEuropeLatin America & CaribbeanMiddle EastSouth America

0 Comments
Posted January 19, 2011 at 5:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All I can do when I look at this is burst into tears--the dog stayed there for two days.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* General InterestAnimals* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

14 Comments
Posted January 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishops must guide their faithful to use their vote to oppose efforts to legalize abortion and euthanasia, Pope Benedict XVI told bishops from Brazil.

"Dear brother bishops, to defend life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world's way of thinking," the pope said Oct. 28 during a meeting with bishops from northeast Brazil.

The bishops were making their "ad limina" visits to report on the status of their dioceses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

10 Comments
Posted October 31, 2010 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all, it is the first segment.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile

6 Comments
Posted October 19, 2010 at 9:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile

4 Comments
Posted October 14, 2010 at 7:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all--my favorite moment is when the miner falls to his knees as soon as he emerges and the whole crowd goes silent as he prays--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile

3 Comments
Posted October 14, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is a story about how an economist and his buddies tricked the people of Brazil into saving the country from rampant inflation. They had a crazy, unlikely plan, and it worked.

Twenty years ago, Brazil's inflation rate hit 80 percent per month. At that rate, if eggs cost $1 one day, they'll cost $2 a month later. If it keeps up for a year, they'll cost $1,000.

In practice, this meant stores had to change their prices every day. The guy in the grocery store would walk the aisles putting new price stickers on the food. Shoppers would run ahead of him, so they could buy their food at the previous day’s price....

Read or better yet listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsThe Banking System/SectorPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

1 Comments
Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

China is pouring another $7bn (£4.4bn) into Brazil's oil industry, reigniting fears of a global "land grab" of natural resources.

State-owned Sinopec clinched the deal with Spain's Repsol yesterday to buy 40 per cent of its Brazilian business, giving China's largest oil company access to Repsol Brasil's estimated reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil and gas. The whopping price tag for Repsol Brasil – which values the company at nearly twice previous estimates – is a sign of China's willingness to pay whatever it takes to lock in its future energy supplies and avoid social unrest. It will give the company enough cash to develop all its current oil projects, including two fields in the Santos Basin.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaChinaEuropeSouth AmericaBrazil

4 Comments
Posted October 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ecuador declared a state of emergency on Thursday as protests by police and some members of the military led to nationwide unrest, accusations of a coup d'état, and the dramatic rescue by army troops of the country's president, who was holed up in a hospital after being tear-gassed by police.

The troubles tilted dangerously when police protesting cuts to their benefits surrounded a hospital where President Rafael Correa was being treated after inhaling tear gas during an earlier visit to a police barracks, where Mr. Correa was apparently verbally and physically threatened by angry police.

The showdown came to a dramatic climax as night fell, with soldiers clashing with police and storming the hospital. Minutes later, amid a barrage of gunfire broadcast live on Ecuadorean television, the army emerged with Mr. Correa safe and sound.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaEcuador

0 Comments
Posted October 1, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Falklands war was in full swing and John Paul II was in London as the first pope ever to set foot on English soil.

Even as he snubbed Margaret Thatcher and prayed for peace in implicit criticism of Britain — whose troops were battling Catholic Argentines — the pontiff received a rapturous welcome and was described in glowing terms by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

His successor, Benedict XVI, can expect a far cooler — if not at times downright hostile — reception in his upcoming state visit.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKSouth AmericaArgentina* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted September 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to legalise gay marriage after the Senate voted in favour.

The country's Chamber of Deputies had already approved the legislation.

The vote in the Senate, which backed the bill by just six votes, came after 14 hours of at times heated debate.

The law, which also allows same-sex couples to adopt, had met with fierce opposition from the Catholic Church and other religious groups.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaArgentina

17 Comments
Posted July 15, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two goals by Carlos Tevez - one hugely-controversial and the other a wonderful strike - sent Argentina through to the World Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory over Mexico.

The offside rule states there should be two players between the striker and the goal - there was not even one when Lionel Messi's ball found Tevez's head, and then the net to put Diego Maradona's side in front.

Mexico went into meltdown and a defensive howler by Ricardo Osorio allowed Gonzalo Higuain to make it 2-0. It was Tevez who sewed the match up in brilliant fashion - and legitimately this time - early in the second half with Mexico left only to savour a stunning reply by Manchester United's new signing Javier Hernandez.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationSports* International News & CommentaryMexicoSouth AmericaArgentina

0 Comments
Posted June 28, 2010 at 10:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A decision by the Anglican mission society the USPG to end its funding to Latin America and the Caribbean has been criticised by bishops in the region....

When the changes were first mooted in March, the Primate of Brazil, the Most Revd Mauricio Andrade, and ten other Brazilian bishops wrote to the society’s trustees to express “surprise and disappointment”.

They had not been consulted, they said, and it was “unjustifiable” to “completely eliminate an entire con­tinent from your sphere of mission”. This demonstrated a “lack of con­cern for Latin America and the Carib­­bean within the Anglican Com­munion”, and smacked of “colonial favouritism”. The cuts would force them to “abandon” projects. They called for period of transition.

The Bishop of Peru, the Rt Revd Bill Godfrey, described the decision to “cut off this whole part of the world as extraordinary and regret­table”. He said that he had “been on USPG’s books for 25 years”. While he acknowledged that the USPG had to balance its books, he said: “I find it hard to believe the only answer is to withdraw funding. There have always been good times and more difficult times financially, but we pass through them.”

He, too, spoke of a lack of con­sultation....

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Anglican Church of Southern AfricaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori* Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* International News & CommentarySouth America

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Posted June 18, 2010 at 7:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In an earlier post, I wrote about the emergence of Turkey and Brazil on the world stage. Since then, the ‘terrible twins’ voted against the Security Council’s latest set of (almost certainly ineffective) sanctions against Iran. The Obama administration had worked hard to get both countries on board; their rebuff dramatized the limits of President Obama’s clout — but their isolation on the Security Council (the sanctions carried 12-2-1, with only intimidated Lebanon abstaining) dramatically illustrated something else: the impotence of the terrible twins. Brazilian President Lula and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan spoke out, but nobody listened.

Brazil and Turkey are learning something that more experienced world players already know: it is easier to make a splash than to make a change, easier to grab a headline than to set an agenda. Both countries can expect a rocky ride for some time; the democratic forces propelling new parties and new movements to the fore reflect domestic constituencies, domestic ideas and, in some cases, domestic fantasies about how the world works. Developing viable foreign policies that take those interests and values into account, but also respond to the realities and necessities of the international system will take time and take thought. At this point, it seems clear that neither the Brazilian nor the Turkish administrations have mastered the challenge.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryEuropeTurkeySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted June 17, 2010 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Fernando Karadima is one of Chile’s most respected and influential priests. Some go so far as to call him a “living saint,” who for half a century trained dozens of priests and helped mold thousands of young Catholics from Santiago’s elite.

Now four men who were once devoted followers have filed a criminal complaint alleging that Father Karadima, now 80, sexually abused them in secret for years.

One man said he had reported the abuse to Father Karadima’s superiors in the archdiocese of Santiago as many as seven years ago, but they took no action. All four men filed formal complaints last year with the archdiocesan tribunal and, receiving no response, spoke publicly for the first time this week.

But the allegations have been largely met not with anger at Father Karadima but with outrage at the accusers by many of his parishioners, a prominent conservative politician and church officials. They say a man so respected over so much time could not possibly have abused his followers, though as the news broke this week, a cardinal here confirmed that the church has been secretly investigating claims of sexual abuse leveled against the priest.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & CultureSexuality* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican parish communities in Chile, hit by a serious earthquake — the fifth-largest on record — that devastated the city of Concepción last Saturday, are sheltering together in tents for safety and to share food and water, says their Bishop, the Rt Revd Héctor Zavala.

Bishop Zavala was expected to arrive in Concepción on Wednesday after travelling for at least ten hours across broken roads. On Tuesday, he asked his colleague Ricardo Tucas to send the following report:

“[The Bishop] is now travelling to the devastated region of Con­cepción, which holds three of his urban churches, and was near three other rural congregations in the High Mountains of Bio-Bio. Four days following the massive earth­quake in Chile, many towns are still completely isolated . . .

“Andy Bowman, until recently a USPG Mission Companion in Concepción, said: ‘From the com­munications we have had with people in Santiago in the north, the situation in Concepción seems desperate. Half a million people in Concepción are isolated, without water, electricity, shelter, and food. Shops have been looted and civil unrest appears to be widespread. Seven thousand Chilean troops have been sent to the area to maintain order.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican ProvincesCono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile

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Posted March 12, 2010 at 6:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chile's reconstruction will take "three to four years" as the country recovers from the earthquake that killed some 800 people, its president has said.

"There are rural areas where everything has tumbled to the ground... infrastructure has been destroyed," Michelle Bachelet told Chilean radio.

It would take foreign aid and most of the mandate of President-elect Sebastian Pinera to rebuild, she added.

Three days of national mourning have been declared, to begin on Sunday.

Read the whole thing.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile

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Posted March 5, 2010 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What was she thinking? By taking a last-minute detour, on her five-day trip to Latin America, to visit President Fernández de Kirchner in Buenos Aires, Hillary Clinton has — recklessly — given the appearance of throwing America’s weight behind Argentina in its row with Britain over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands...

Intruding in the dispute was lamentable enough. But in further offering to mediate between Buenos Aires and London, the US Secretary of State is implying that there may be some fruitful area of grey between their rival black-and-white claims. By suggesting so boldly that there may be room for negotiation when Britain has insisted that there is none, Mrs Clinton gives the impression that Argentina has America’s tacit support in the dispute.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKSouth AmericaArgentina

32 Comments
Posted March 3, 2010 at 6:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

People of faith have responded to such disasters in two ways. First they, like Darwin, have attempted to try and understand how such a world can be created by a loving God. While some at the fringes of the church have proclaimed the horror caused by earthquakes and hurricanes as the judgement of God, most Christians see something in the view that the creativity inherent in the world also brings with it risk. So the fault lines which cause devastating earthquakes have also been of immense benefit by providing minerals, oil, and good soil for agriculture. In fact, the 19th century evangelical and friend of Darwin, Asa Gray, argued that evolution's waste and suffering were necessary for more complex forms of life to emerge in creation.

However, such insights can sound very trite to the person who has lost a loved one or been made homeless. In addition, they don't provide a full explanation to the extent of suffering, a point which struck Darwin strongly.

It's here that there has been a second response. Seeing in Jesus, both a God who gives genuine freedom to the Universe and a God of compassion in the face of need, churches have been motivated to be at the forefront of help to those affected by earthquakes despite the unanswered questions of suffering.

Read the whole reflection.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryCaribbeanHaitiSouth AmericaChile* TheologyPastoral TheologyTheodicy

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Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chile is on a hotspot of sorts for earthquake activity. And so the 8.8-magnitude temblor that shook the region overnight was not a surprise, historically speaking. Nor was it outside the realm of normal, scientists say, even though it comes on the heels of other major earthquakes.

One scientist, however, says that relative to the time period from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, Earth has been more active over the past 15 years or so.

The Chilean earthquake, and the tsunami it spawned, originated on a hot spot known as a subduction zone, where one plate of Earth's crust dives under another. It's part of the active "Ring of Fire," a zone of major crustal plate clashes that surround the Pacific Ocean.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryCaribbeanHaitiSouth AmericaChile

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Posted February 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The earthquake struck at 3:34 a.m. and reports of damage continued to come in all day. The force of the earthquake was enough to jolt the 94-year-old mother of the Rev. Oscar Carrasco, a district superintendent in the United Methodist Northern Illinois Conference, from her bed in Curacautín.

Joyce Carrasco, Oscar’s wife, reported that they had heard his mother was OK, but that his sister’s house next door was heavily damaged. Her mother-in-law is keeping the family focused in prayer and she feels the family is blessed to be able to be together and prepare a meal. "Thank goodness for fire wood while Curacautín is isolated. … bridges are out. There is a tense calm," Carrasco said. "Still waiting to hear more news."

A United Methodist volunteer-in-mission group from Wisconsin was thought to be in Chile when the earthquake occurred.

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Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist

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Posted February 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(ELCA News) Earthquake damage is said to be extensive in Santiago and Concepcion following the Feb. 27 severe earthquake in central Chile, according to Karen Anderson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission staff in Santiago.
The Feb. 27 earthquake measured 8.8 on the Richter scale. The Chilean government has reported at least 147 deaths in all of the country. A tsunami warning was issued for the entire Pacific basin as a result of the earthquake, including Hawaii and U.S. territories such as Guam and American Samoa.
According to news reports in Chile, the earthquake damaged 1.5 million homes, 500,000 "very seriously," Anderson wrote in an e-mail to the ELCA News Service. Phone service was not available.
"Many homes, especially in older parts of Santiago, were destroyed," she wrote. The international airport there suffered "major damage" and is closed, Anderson wrote.

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Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran

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Posted February 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A tremor with a magnitude of 8.8 devastated large parts of southern Chile and sent huge waves racing at up to 400 miles an hour across the Pacific. Isolated ocean islands were reported to have suffered severe wave damage, and tsunami warnings were issued across a vast area stretching from Russia and Japan through to the Philippines and New Zealand.

In the Chilean capital, Santiago, some five million woke up to "hell" as the earthquake, which struck in the small hours of Saturday morning, collapsed tower blocks and bridges and swallowed cars as it ripped cracks in the roads. Rescue teams worked throughout the day to dig out people buried alive in the rubble.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile

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Posted February 27, 2010 at 5:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bougainvillea shade the pathways at the Cementerio General del Sur, where the mausoleums of statesmen and movie stars stand next to the graves of aristocrats and thousands of commoners. Sculpted lions gaze down from sepulchers. Elegance, not anarchy, once defined this resting place.

No longer.

Now, crypts for once-feared military rulers have been ransacked. Coffins, twisted open with crowbars, lie strewn under samán trees. Cages with padlocked gates surround the burial sites of some families, as if that might protect them from a disturbing reality: not even Caracas’s city of the dead is safe.

Accompanying Venezuela’s soaring levels of murders and kidnappings, its cemeteries are the setting for a new kind of crime wave. Grave robbers are looting them for human bones, answering demand from some practitioners of a fast-growing transplanted Cuban religion called Palo that uses the bones in its ceremonies.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaVenezuela

1 Comments
Posted December 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When the U.S. government imagines the global future, the term BRIC features prominently. The concept was created in 2001 when researchers at Goldman Sachs identified four critical emerging powers—Brazil, Russia, India and China. By 2050, claimed these experts, the BRIC powers would be challenging the U.S. for worldwide economic supremacy. U.S. officials have taken this forecast very seriously. Hillary Clinton recently listed these four "major and emerging global powers" as vital partners in any future attempts to solve the world's problems.

The BRIC theory has political, strategic and military implications, but it also raises intriguing questions about the world's religious future. The BRICs will be the scene of intense debates about faith and practice—about coexistence and rivalry between different faiths; about the proper relationship between religion and state power; and, conceivably, about the use of religious rhetoric to justify an imperial expansion.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

3 Comments
Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are new problems on the horizon, just beyond those oil platforms offshore. The real has gained almost 50% against the dollar since early December. That boosts Brazilians’ living standards by making imports cheaper. But it makes life hard for exporters. The government last month imposed a tax on short-term capital inflows. But that is unlikely to stop the currency’s appreciation, especially once the oil starts pumping.

Lula’s instinctive response to this dilemma is industrial policy. The government will require oil-industry supplies—from pipes to ships—to be produced locally. It is bossing Vale into building a big new steelworks. It is true that public policy helped to create Brazil’s industrial base. But privatisation and openness whipped this into shape. Meanwhile, the government is doing nothing to dismantle many of the obstacles to doing business—notably the baroque rules on everything from paying taxes to employing people. Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s candidate in next October’s presidential election, insists that no reform of the archaic labour law is needed (see article).

And perhaps that is the biggest danger facing Brazil: hubris. Lula is right to say that his country deserves respect, just as he deserves much of the adulation he enjoys. But he has also been a lucky president, reaping the rewards of the commodity boom and operating from the solid platform for growth erected by his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Maintaining Brazil’s improved performance in a world suffering harder times means that Lula’s successor will have to tackle some of the problems that he has felt able to ignore. So the outcome of the election may determine the speed with which Brazil advances in the post-Lula era. Nevertheless, the country’s course seems to be set. Its take-off is all the more admirable because it has been achieved through reform and democratic consensus-building. If only China could say the same.

Read the whole thing.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted November 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Iran is helping to detect uranium deposits in Venezuela and initial evaluations suggest reserves are significant, President Hugo Chavez's government said Friday.

Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz said Iran has been assisting Venezuela with geophysical survey flights and geochemical analysis of the deposits, and that evaluations "indicate the existence of uranium in western parts of the country and in Santa Elena de Uairen," in southeastern Bolivar state.

"We could have important reserves of uranium," Sanz told reporters upon arrival on Venezuela's Margarita Island for a weekend Africa-South America summit. He added that efforts to certify the reserves could begin within the next three years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIranSouth AmericaVenezuela

1 Comments
Posted September 27, 2009 at 7:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week the four leaders of the Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) formally met together in their first summit. I have been asked a number of questions about the event. First, did I really think this would ever happen? Second, would it have happened if I hadn't created the acronym? Third, what real purpose did it serve, and fourth, where do I think the Bric path is heading?

I've also beeen asked a couple of supplementary questions: why these four countries and why not Indonesia, Turkey or indeed Iran? And do I think the global credit crisis has changed the picture from our prediction a number of years ago, that the combined GDP of the Bric economies could exceed that of the G7 countries before 2040?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

1 Comments
Posted June 23, 2009 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With public hugs and backslaps among its leaders, a new political bloc was formed yesterday to challenge the global dominance of the United States.

The first summit of heads of state of the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — ended with a declaration calling for a “multipolar world order”, diplomatic code for a rejection of America’s position as the sole global superpower.

President Medvedev of Russia went further in a statement with his fellow leaders after the summit, saying that the BRIC countries wanted to “create the conditions for a fairer world order”. He described the meeting with President Lula da Silva of Brazil, the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, as “an historic event”.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

4 Comments
Posted June 17, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fordlandia isn't just the story of a plantation; it's a story about Ford's ego. As disaster after disaster struck, Ford continued to pour money into the project. Not one drop of latex from Fordlandia ever made it into a Ford car.

But the more it failed, the more Ford justified the project in idealistic terms. "It increasingly was justified as a work of civilization, or as a sociological experiment," Grandin says. One newspaper article even reported that Ford's intent wasn't just to cultivate rubber, but to cultivate workers and human beings.

In the end, Ford's utopia failed. Fordlandia's residents, ever in hope their patriarch would someday visit their Midwestern industrial town in the middle of the jungle, gave up and left.

These days, Fordlandia is quite beautiful, Grandin says. The "American" town where the managers and administrators lived is abandoned and overgrown. Weeds grow over the American-style bungalows, and bats roost in the rafters, and little red fire hydrants sit covered in vines.

I cuaght this by podcast when runing this evening and found it absolutely fascinating--I had never heard anything about it before. Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentarySouth America

2 Comments
Posted June 7, 2009 at 10:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Their stories kept him awake through much of the night. The expectant father in his 20s who was to be a witness at his brother's wedding Saturday. The disbelieving teens who had come to Charles de Gaulle airport expecting to greet family members arriving from Brazil. The woman in her 60s who grabbed his hands, begging him to say there was still hope of finding her child.

"I had to tell them the truth, that in my opinion there was no hope," said Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, weariness evident in his voice.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchTravel* International News & CommentaryEuropeFranceSouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted June 3, 2009 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brazil and China will work towards using their own currencies in trade transactions rather than the US dollar, according to Brazil’s central bank and aides to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president.

The move follows recent Chinese challenges to the status of the dollar as the world’s leading international currency.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaChinaSouth AmericaBrazil

3 Comments
Posted May 19, 2009 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Members of the six Anglican Communion provinces in the Americas will gather February 22-27 in San José, Costa Rica, for the Conference of the Anglican Churches in the Americas in Mutual Responsibility and Mission.

The February meeting will allow participants to tell their colleagues about their mission and ministry along with training opportunities. In addition, conference participants will spend Ash Wednesday working at various ministry sites with Costa Rican Anglicans.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* International News & CommentaryLatin America & CaribbeanSouth America

15 Comments
Posted February 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Yanomami leaders are wading into a politicized debate about how officials react to health care challenges faced by the Yanomami and other Amazonian tribes. In recent interviews here, government officials contended that the Yanomami could be exaggerating their claims to win more resources from the government and undercut its authority in the Amazon.

Meanwhile, the Yanomami claims come amid growing concern in Venezuela over indigenous health care after a scandal erupted in August over a tepid official response to a mystery disease that killed 38 Warao Indians in the country's northeast.

"This government makes a big show of helping the Yanomami, but rhetoric is one thing and reality another," said Ramón González, 49, a Yanomami leader from the village of Yajanamateli who traveled recently to Puerto Ayacucho, the capital of Amazonas State, to ask military officials and civilian doctors for improved health care.

"The truth is that Yanomami lives are still considered worthless," said González, who was converted to Christianity by New Tribes Mission, a Florida group expelled in 2005. "The boats, the planes, the money, it's all for the criollos, not for us," he said, using a term for nonindigenous Venezuelans.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaVenezuela

0 Comments
Posted October 7, 2008 at 7:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Russia said on Thursday it was ready to consider helping Venezuela develop a peaceful nuclear energy program, a gesture that will displease Washington as two of its sharpest critics draw closer.

"We are all ready to look at the possibility of operating in the sphere of peaceful atomic energy," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said as he welcomed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for late-evening talks at his residence on the outskirts of Moscow.

Nuclear energy is a sensitive issue between the United States and Russia, which this week forced the scrapping of an international meeting to discuss sanctions against Iran over its atomic program.

Russia has stepped up cooperation with Venezuela, an arch-foe of Washington, since coming under strong U.S. condemnation for fighting a war against Georgia last month.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEuropeRussiaSouth America

6 Comments
Posted September 26, 2008 at 8:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is just after 5 p.m. in what was once one of Latin America's most sexually conservative countries, and the youth of Chile are bumping and grinding to a reggaetón beat. At the Bar Urbano disco, boys and girls aged 14 to 18 are stripping off their shirts.

The place is a tangle of lips and tongues and hands. About 800 teenagers sway and bounce to lyrics imploring them to "Poncea! Poncea!": to make out with as many people as they can.

And make out they do - with stranger after stranger, vying for the honor of being known as the "ponceo," the one who pairs up the most.

Chile, long considered to have among the most traditional social mores in South America, is crashing headlong against that reputation with its precocious teenagers. Chile's youth are living in a period of sexual exploration that, academics and government officials say, is like nothing the country has witnessed before.

"Chile's youth are clearly having sex earlier and testing the borderlines with their sexual conduct," said Dr. Ramiro Molina, director of the University of Chile's Center for Adolescent Reproductive Medicine and Development.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchSexualityTeens / Youth* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaChile

6 Comments
Posted September 13, 2008 at 5:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chile's Catholic Church was seen as a light during the dark days of Augusto Pinochet's regime.

That is when the church battled repression. Now, the first indictment of a priest in connection with human rights abuses has reopened old wounds.

Listen to it all from NPR.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth America* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted October 26, 2007 at 5:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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