American ship’s crew arrested, TN calls charges against them serious

The Tamil Nadu police on Friday arrested 33 crew members of an American ship detained last week for illegally entering Indian waters with a huge cache of arms and ammunition.

Earlier reports said all 35 members on board were arrested, but a press release issued by the office of the Tamil Nadu director-general of police said “two crew members were left for upkeep and maintenance of the vessel, till the company makes alternative arrangements for the ship’s maintenance”.

The MV Seaman Guard Ohio, an armed ship operated by a US maritime security company AdvanFort, was detained last Friday with 35 people on board by the Coast Guard east of Tuticorin, around 600 km south of Chennai, for failing to produce papers authorising it to carry weapons and ammunition in Indian waters.

According to the press note, the ‘Q’ Branch CID of the police arrested eight crew members and 25 guards on Friday morning, leaving two crew members for upkeep and maintenance of the vessel.

The release stated that a case was registered in Tharuvaikulam Marine police station against the crew members and guards on board the vessel on the complaint of the assistant commandant of Indian Coast Guard, Tuticorin, on October 13.

The complaint included offences under the Arms Act, 1959, Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel (prevention of malpractices in supply and distribution order), 1990.

It said investigation by the ‘Q’ Branch CID of the police revealed that the said vessel was found in the territorial waters of our country and was in possession of a huge quantity of arms and ammunition without valid authorisation of documents.  Further, the said vessel has drawn illegally about 1,500 litres of diesel from private sources in our land without following the procedure.

During the course of investigation, the release added, the ‘Q’ Branch CID has seized 35 arms and about 5,680 ammunitions from the vessel. Further investigations are on, the police said.

The state government on Friday said the arrested seamen were produced before a magistrate court in Tuticorin and remanded in custody. The Central and state police are investigating the case, police officials said, adding that the state has taken the case seriously and has refused to set the sailors free.

Earlier, Coast Guard Commandant Anand Kumar said the ship was stopped on October 11 and was being held in the southern port of Tuticorin along with its 10 crew and 25 armed security guards until required documentation is submitted.

The crew and security guards included British, Estonian, Indian and Ukrainian nationals, Kumar said. Eight out of them were Indians. The southern tip of India is close to major trading routes from Asia to Europe.

Many cargo ships now travel with armed guards to deter pirates. Sri Lanka, close to Tuticorin, is a popular boarding point for private armed guards.

The ship was reportedly in Indian waters for three days before it was detected. According to the police, the crew broke several Indian laws and maintained no log of the arms on board.

It was reportedly carrying 31 assault rifles and around 5,000 rounds of ammunition, which were seized by the Coast Guard.

Deputy National Security Adviser Nehchal Sandhu had earlier said he did not think that the detained ship was involved in gunrunning.

“I don’t think so.” He added that it is likely to be owned by a private maritime security company. Some media reports have said a US-based anti-piracy company owns it.

AdvanFort claims the ship entered the Indian waters to escape the fury of cyclone Phailin, which made landfall on India’s eastern coast (near Gopalpur in Ganjam district of Odisha) on Saturday. The vessel, however, was detected far from where the cyclone hit Odisha and Andhra Pradesh last weekend.

India is very sensitive about the presence of armed security guards on merchant ships after the shooting deaths of two fishermen by armed Italian marines last year in February. The marines were part of a military security team on a cargo ship when they fired at the fishermen, mistaking them for pirates.

The two Italians are facing trial in India for the deaths.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/tamilnadu/us-ship-s-crew-arrested-tn-calls-charges-against-them-serious/article1-1136663.aspx

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After all Jesus was a child born of rape by Abrahamic god.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/uselection/article/1276350–republican-candidate-richard-mourdock-says-rape-something-that-god-intended-to-happen

Pregnancy from rape ‘something that God intended to happen,’ says Republican candidate Richard Mourdock

Published 14 minutes ago

TOM LoBIANCO
Associated Press


Published 14 minutes ago

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday when a woman is impregnated during a rape, “it’s something God intended.” (Oct. 23, 2012)
TOM LoBIANCO
Associated Press

NEW ALBANY, IND.—Top Republicans were slow to embrace tea party-backed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock after he ousted a longtime GOP senator from office. Though he eventually won their support — and money — Mourdock could see both fade after telling a live television audience that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended.”

U.S. Election coverage

Mourdock, who’s been locked in one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races, was asked during the final minutes of a debate Tuesday night whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said.

Mourdock became the second GOP Senate candidate to find himself on the defensive over comments about rape and pregnancy. Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called“legitimate rape.” Since his comment, Akin has repeatedly apologized but has refused to leave his race despite calls to do so by leaders of his own party, from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on down.

It was not immediately clear what effect Mourdock’s comments might have during the final two weeks in the increasingly tight race against Democratic challenger Rep. Joe Donnelly. But they could prove problematic. Romney distanced himself from Mourdock on Tuesday night — a day after a television ad featuring the former Massachusetts governor supporting the GOP Senate candidate began airing in Indiana.

“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email to The Associated Press. Romney aides would not say whether the ad would be pulled and if the Republican presidential nominee would continue to support Mourdock’s Senate bid.

Other Republicans did not immediately weigh in. Indiana Republican Party spokesman Pete Seat referred comment to the Mourdock campaign. A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday night.

National Democrats quickly picked up on Mourdock’s statement and used it as an opportunity to paint him as an extreme candidate, calling him a tea party “zealot.” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz described Mourdock’s comments as “outrageous and demeaning to women” and called on Romney to take his pro-Mourdock ad off the air.

Mourdock further explained Tuesday night after the debate that he did not believe God intended the rape, but that God is the only one who can create life.

“Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don’t think that,” Mourdock said. “Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that’s not even close to what I said.”

In response, Donnelly said after the debate in southern Indiana that he doesn’t believe “my God, or any God, would intend that to happen.”

Mourdock, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress three times before becoming state treasurer, became one of the tea party’s biggest winners of the 2012 primary season when he knocked off veteran Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar in a brutal campaign. Initially, national Republicans stayed out of the Indiana race because the race had appeared to be a likely win for the GOP.

But as the race grew tighter in recent months, Mourdock changed his tune and started trying to woo moderate voters. At the same time, top Republicans began stumping for Mourdock around the state in a push to break open the high-stakes Senate race. Republicans need to gain three seats, or four if President Barack Obama wins re-election, and seats that were predicted to remain or turn Republican have grown uncertain.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came to Indianapolis for a fundraiser Monday, and Arizona Sen. John McCain and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham campaigned for Mourdock last week. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is due in the state Wednesday.

Romney’s coattails carry special significance in conservative Indiana, where Mourdock has underperformed Romney by 12 points in most public polls. Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS also has bought another $1 million of airtime in Indiana, making his group the biggest player in Indiana’s Senate race. A message left for Crossroads GPS spokesman Nate Hodson was not immediately returned.

Donnelly, a moderate Democrat who opposes abortions, has spent much of his campaign highlighting Mourdock’s tea party ties and trying to accuse him of being too extreme even for conservative Indiana. Democratic groups have bought another $1.6 million of airtime for Donnelly ads this week.

NEW ALBANY, IND.—Top Republicans were slow to embrace tea party-backed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock after he ousted a longtime GOP senator from office. Though he eventually won their support — and money — Mourdock could see both fade after telling a live television audience that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended.”

U.S. Election coverage

Mourdock, who’s been locked in one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races, was asked during the final minutes of a debate Tuesday night whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said.

Mourdock became the second GOP Senate candidate to find himself on the defensive over comments about rape and pregnancy. Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called“legitimate rape.” Since his comment, Akin has repeatedly apologized but has refused to leave his race despite calls to do so by leaders of his own party, from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on down.

It was not immediately clear what effect Mourdock’s comments might have during the final two weeks in the increasingly tight race against Democratic challenger Rep. Joe Donnelly. But they could prove problematic. Romney distanced himself from Mourdock on Tuesday night — a day after a television ad featuring the former Massachusetts governor supporting the GOP Senate candidate began airing in Indiana.

“Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email to The Associated Press. Romney aides would not say whether the ad would be pulled and if the Republican presidential nominee would continue to support Mourdock’s Senate bid.

Other Republicans did not immediately weigh in. Indiana Republican Party spokesman Pete Seat referred comment to the Mourdock campaign. A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday night.

National Democrats quickly picked up on Mourdock’s statement and used it as an opportunity to paint him as an extreme candidate, calling him a tea party “zealot.” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz described Mourdock’s comments as “outrageous and demeaning to women” and called on Romney to take his pro-Mourdock ad off the air.

Mourdock further explained Tuesday night after the debate that he did not believe God intended the rape, but that God is the only one who can create life.

“Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don’t think that,” Mourdock said. “Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that’s not even close to what I said.”

In response, Donnelly said after the debate in southern Indiana that he doesn’t believe “my God, or any God, would intend that to happen.”

Mourdock, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress three times before becoming state treasurer, became one of the tea party’s biggest winners of the 2012 primary season when he knocked off veteran Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar in a brutal campaign. Initially, national Republicans stayed out of the Indiana race because the race had appeared to be a likely win for the GOP.

But as the race grew tighter in recent months, Mourdock changed his tune and started trying to woo moderate voters. At the same time, top Republicans began stumping for Mourdock around the state in a push to break open the high-stakes Senate race. Republicans need to gain three seats, or four if President Barack Obama wins re-election, and seats that were predicted to remain or turn Republican have grown uncertain.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came to Indianapolis for a fundraiser Monday, and Arizona Sen. John McCain and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham campaigned for Mourdock last week. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is due in the state Wednesday.

Romney’s coattails carry special significance in conservative Indiana, where Mourdock has underperformed Romney by 12 points in most public polls. Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS also has bought another $1 million of airtime in Indiana, making his group the biggest player in Indiana’s Senate race. A message left for Crossroads GPS spokesman Nate Hodson was not immediately returned.

Donnelly, a moderate Democrat who opposes abortions, has spent much of his campaign highlighting Mourdock’s tea party ties and trying to accuse him of being too extreme even for conservative Indiana. Democratic groups have bought another $1.6 million of airtime for Donnelly ads this week.

 

அச்சிறுப்பாக்கம் மலையை ஆக்கிரமித்து கிறிஸ்தவ கட்டடங்கள்: நடவடிக்கை எடுக்குமா வருவாய் துறை?

http://www.dinamalar.com/News_Detail.asp?Id=558484

மதுராந்தகம்: அச்சிறுப்பாக்கம் மலையை ஆக்கிரமித்து, கட்டடங்கள் கட்டிவரும் மலைமாதா கிறிஸ்தவ ஆலய நிர்வாகிகள் மீது, நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டும் என, பொதுமக்கள் கோரிக்கை விடுத்து உள்ளனர்.

காஞ்சிபுரம் மாவட்டம், அச்சிறுப்பாக்கத்தில், தேசிய நெடுஞ்சாலையை ஒட்டி, வனத் துறை கட்டுப்பாட்டில் உள்ள ஒரு மலை அமைந்து உள்ளது. வஜ்ரகிரி மலை எனப்படும் இதன் உச்சியில், பசுபதி ஈஸ்வரர் கோவில் உள்ளது. இந்த கோவிலில், நீண்ட காலமாக பக்தர்கள் வழிபட்டு வருகின்றனர். கீழிருந்து கோவிலுக்கு செல்ல, அரசு மேனிலைப் பள்ளி அருகில் படியும், எலப்பாக்கம் சாலையில் இருந்து மலை பாதையும் உள்ளது. பக்தர்கள் கோவிலுக்கு செல்ல, வனத் துறை அனுமதிக்கிறது. மலையில் நீண்டகால வழிபாட்டுத் தலமாக இக்கோவில் மட்டுமே உள்ளது.

கெடுபிடியும், அலட்சியமும்: சிறிய கோவிலான இதை, பெரிதாக கட்ட பக்தர்கள் முயன்றபோது, வனத் துறை தடைவிதித்தது. தற்போது, படியை மட்டும் செப்பனிட்டு அகலப்படுத்த, பக்தர்கள் முயன்றபோதும் வனத் துறை தடை விதித்தது. வனத் துறையின் கட்டுப்பாட்டில், காப்புக்காடாக அமைந்துள்ள இந்த பகுதி மட்டுமே, இயற்கை வளம் பாதிக்கப் படாமல் முறையாக பாதுகாக்கப் படுகிறது. ஆனால், இந்த மலையின் ஒரு பகுதியாக அமைந்துள்ள குன்று, வருவாய்த் துறை கட்டுப்பாட்டில், புறம்போக்கு பகுதியாக உள்ளதால் (சர்வே எண் 45/4), கிறிஸ்தவ வழிபாட்டுத்தல ஆக்கிரமிப்பால், சீரழிந்து வருகிறது. இது அச்சிறுப்பாக்கம் பேரூராட்சி எல்லையை ஒட்டிய, பள்ளிப்பேட்டை ஊராட்சியில் அமைந்து உள்ளது. இங்கு, ஒரு கிறிஸ்தவ அமைப்பு, 30 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன், மழை மலைமாதா ஆலயம் என்ற வழிப்பாட்டு தலத்தை துவக்கியது. துவக்கத்தில், ஊராட்சி அனுமதியுடன் மட்டும், இந்த ஆலயம் கட்டப் பட்டது. வருவாய்த் துறை அதிகாரிகள் இதை கண்டுகொள்ளவில்லை.

பிரமிப்பூட்டும் விரிவாக்கம்: முதலில், ஒரு சிலுவை மற்றும் சர்ச் ஆகியவற்றுடன், இத்தலம் அமைக்கப்பட்டது. இந்த அமைப்பிற்கு, நாளடைவில், வெளிநாட்டு நிதியுதவி குவிந்ததால், 2000ம் ஆண்டு முதல், வழிபாட்டுத் தலம் தொடர்ந்து விரிவுபடுத்தப் பட்டது. தற்போது, 9 ஏக்கர் குன்று புறம்போக்கு நிலம் ஆக்கிரமிக்கப் பட்டு சர்ச், தியான மண்டபம் உட்பட பத்துக்கும் மேற்பட்ட பிரமாண்டமான கட்டடங்கள் கட்டப் பட்டு உள்ளன. மலையிலும் ஏராளமான சிலுவைகளை அமைத்து, மேலே செல்ல படிகளும் கட்டப் பட்டு உள்ளன. தற்போது சாய்வு கோபுரம் என்ற மிகப்பெரிய கட்டடமும் கட்டப் படுகிறது.

பாதை ஆக்கிரமிப்பு: இந்த ஆலயத்திற்கு எலப்பாக்கம் சாலையில் வழி அமைந்து உள்ளது. அதை ஒட்டியே பசுபதி ஈஸ்வரர் கோவிலுக்கும் மலைப்பாதை உள்ளது. கிறிஸ்தவ அமைப்பு, அடிக்கடி, பசுபதி ஈஸ்வரர் கோவில் பாதையையும் ஆக்கிரமித்ததால் சர்ச்சை ஏற்பட்டு, இந்து அமைப்புகள் எதிர்த்தன. இதனால், மோதல் உருவாகும் சூழல் ஏற்பட்டது. அப்போது வருவாய்த் துறை நடத்திய சமாதான கூட்டத்தில், மலையில் மேலும் கட்டடங்கள் கட்டக் கூடாது என, முடிவெடுக்கப் பட்டது. ஆனாலும், தற்போது, கிறிஸ்தவ அமைப்பு தொடர்ந்து கட்டடங்களை கட்டிவருகிறது. கட்டடம் கட்ட, மலையின் இயற்கை வளத்தை அழிக்கிறது. ஏராளமான மரங்கள், அபூர்வமான செடி, கொடிகள் மற்றும் தாவரங்கள் அழிக்கப் படுகிறன. வருவாய்த் துறை இடமாக அமைந்திருந்தும், அதை ஆக்கிரமித்துள்ள கிறிஸ்தவ அமைப்பு மீது, அதிகாரிகள் இதுவரை நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கவில்லை. ஒரு அமைப்பு, மலையை தன் கட்டுப்பாட்டில் கொண்டு வந்து கோலோச்சுவதால், தொடர்ந்து இயற்கை வளம் அழிக்கப்படுகிறது. மேலும், தொடர்ந்து ஆக்கிரமிப்புகள் நடக்க வாய்ப்பு உள்ளது.

“Jesus said to them, my wife.” – Karen King reads the papyrus

Ancient papyrus reveals ‘Jesus Christ’s wife’, set to renew fierce debate

Reuters | Sep 19, 2012, 05.02PM IST

BOSTON: A previously unknown scrap ofancient papyrus written in ancient Egyptian Coptic includes the words “Jesus said to them, my wife,” — a discovery likely to renew a fierce debate in the Christian world over whether Jesus was married.

The existence of the fourth-century fragment — not much bigger than a business card — was revealed at a conference in Rome on Tuesday byKaren King, Hollis Professor of Divinity atHarvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,” King said in a statement released by Harvard.

“This new gospel doesn’t prove that Jesus was married, but it tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.”

Despite the Catholic Church’s insistence that Jesus was not married, the idea resurfaces on a regular basis, notably with the 2003 publication of Dan Brown’s best-seller ” The Da Vinci Code,” which angered many Christians because it was based on the idea that Jesus was married toMary Magdalene and had children.

King said the fragment, unveiled at the Tenth International Congress of Coptic Studies, provided the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married.

Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, said he believed the fragment, which King has called ” The Gospel of Jesus’s wife,” was authentic.

But further examination will be made by experts, as well as additional testing of the papyrus fragment, described as brownish-yellow and tattered. Of particular interest will be the chemical composition of the ink.

The fragment is owned by an anonymous private collector who contacted King to help translate and analyze it, and is thought to have been discovered in Egypt or perhaps Syria.

King said that it was not until around 200 AD that claims started to surface, via the theologian known as Clement of Alexandria, that Jesus did not marry.

“This fragment suggests that other Christians of that period were claiming that he was married” but does not provide actual evidence of a marriage, she said.

“Christian tradition preserved only those voices that claimed Jesus never married. The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ now shows that some Christians thought otherwise.”

King’s analysis of the fragment is slated for publication in the Harvard Theological Review in January 2013. She has posted a draft of the paper, and images of the fragment, on the Harvard Divinity School website.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Ancient-papyrus-reveals-Jesus-Christs-wife-set-to-renew-fierce-debate/articleshow/16463401.cms

Hollis Professorship

The Hollis Professorship of Divinity at HDS, endowed in 1721 and now held by Karen King, was the first named chair at Harvard and is the oldest endowed professorship in the United States.

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The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife: A New Coptic Gospel Papyrus

IMAGES AND TRANSLATION

Papyrus fragment: front. Karen L. King 2012Papyrus fragment: front. Karen L. King 2012
Papyrus text: front. Karen L. King 2012
Papyrus fragment: back. Karen L. King 2012Papyrus fragment: back. Karen L. King 2012
Papyrus text: back. Karen L. King 2012

Q&A

1. Does the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife prove that Jesus was married?
2. How do we know this fragment is not a forgery?
3. What is the significance of the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife?
4. Who wrote the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife?
5. Why is the fragment called the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife?
6. What is the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife?
7. Where is the fragment from?
8. What language is the fragment written in?
9. What is the approximate date of the material fragment?
10. What is the approximate date when this gospel was composed?
11. When was the fragment discovered?
12. What are some of the other newly discovered ancient Christian writings?

Proselytisation resurfaces at Tirumala

Published: July 25, 2012
Proselytisation resurfaces at Tirumala

Special Correspondent, TIRUPATI, July 25, 2012

[Three lower rank TTD staff held for allegedly possessing Christian propaganda material]

After lying low for some time, the problem of proselytisation has reared up its ugly head once again at Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara. The issue which rocked the TTD about six years ago, has erupted again as evidenced by the fact that in a raid conducted by the TTD’s Vigilance and Security personnel on three houses in the TTD staff quarters at Tirumala late on Monday night following a tip-off, bundles of religious publications, wall-posters and such other propaganda material belonging to Christian missionaries were reportedly recovered.

The Vigilance sleuths raided the houses of Eswaraiah, Krishnamma and Yasodamma — all working as ‘sweepers’ in the TTD’s Health Department — acting on a tip-off alleging that they were engaged in ‘missionary activities’ and religious propagation in their quarters at Tirumala.

The trio was immediately taken into custody for interrogation in view of a blanket ban imposed by the government on any kind of religious activities other than Hindu religion at Tirumala and on propagation of other religion in and around the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara and also in the areas under its jurisdiction both on and off the Tirumala hills. Meanwhile, the Vigilance wing reported the matter to the higher-ups in the TTD who are said to be contemplating shifting all the three staffers to Tirupati with immediate effect, pending further inquiry.

TTD slammed

Meanwhile, a BJP team led by its State official spokesperson, G. Bhanuprakash Reddy at a press meet here expressed its shock over the controversial ‘missionary activities’ flaring up again at Tirumala, hurting the psyche of thousands of devotees that throng Tirumala daily from all over India.

The BJP leaders slammed the TTD for its laxity on such a sensitive issue, especially at Tirumala, the abode of Lord and urged its top-brass to go all out to end the ‘menace’ once and for all.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/andhra-pradesh/article3679380.ece?css=print

 

Indian rationalist Sanal Edamaruku facing jail for pointing out miracle was leaking pipe

13th Jun 2012 9:30am | By Laura Chubb

  • indian-miracle-leaking.jpg

Sanal Edamaruku, president of the India-based Rationalist International, is facing jail for pointing out that a miracle involving a dripping crucifix was down to a leaky pipe.

On March 10, the well-known ‘miracle debunker’ was invited by the TV-9 channel to see for himself a miracle at the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni in Vile Parle. Water had begun dripping from the feet of a statue of a crucified Christ, leading worshippers to claim it was holy water. The devout flocked to the church to collect the sacred dripping liquid in containers.

After inspecting the scene, Edamaruku concluded that the source of the miracle was a leaky drainage system.

Father Augustine Palett, pastor of the Church of Our Lady Velankanni, denounced Edamaruku’s investigation which suggested the church had created the miracle to exploit worshippers.

Palett said: “Something has happened here that is beyond our understanding and that has gathered together Hindus, Muslims and Christians, united in prayer.

“The Church does not try to make money from people’s devotion. Its institutions relentlessly serve poor and marginalised, without any discrimination of caste or creed, to build this nation.

“Sanal Edamaruku’s statements are unwarranted, unfounded and false

The church has now filed blasphemy petitions against Edamaruku.

Rationalist International confirmed that the Mumbai police had announced they are out to arrest Edamaruku, and that “he could be forced to fight a multitude of criminal cases in different places”.

The organisation added: “This is not only immensely time and money consuming. Given the fanaticism of some Catholic believers, it can be a danger for his life.”

Rationalist International has responded by launching a Sanal Edamaruku Defence Committe spearheaded by the human rights lawyer N.D.Pancholi.

http://www.tntmagazine.com/news/weird/indian-rationalist-sanal-edamaruku-facing-jail-for-pointing-out-miracle-was-leaking-pipe

Mother Teresa and the Paedophile

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/nelson-jones/2012/01/mother-teresa-mcguire-abuse

Nelson Jones

Belief, disbelief and beyond belief

Did the “Saint of Calcutta” intervene to protect one of the most notorious paedophile priests of rec?

BY NELSON JONESPUBLISHED 12 JANUARY 2012 16:09

She was one of the world’s most beloved and revered religious figures, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who remains, in the public imagination, the tiny, saintly nun whose life devoted to the poor of Calcutta was a model of Christian renunciation. She had her critics, prominent among them the late Christopher Hitchens, who drew attention to her extreme Catholic traditionalism and her occasional cosying-up to dictators in search of funds for her Missionaries of Charity. But nothing stopped her elevation, a mere six years after her death in 1997, to the status of “Blessed”. Her full canonisation looks to be just a matter of time.

Now, though, it looks as though she might be dragged posthumously into the ongoing scandal of priestly sex abuse. Evidence presented in the somewhat unlikely forum of SF Magazine sheds new and potentially damaging light on her close association with Father Donald McGuire, one of the most notorious clerical paedophiles of recent years. In 1994, it appears, Mother Teresa had urged McGuire’s reinstatement to the ministry despite clear evidence of his abusive behaviour.

McGuire was a high-flying Jesuit, an inspirational preacher whose conservative views matched her own. His association with Mother Teresa dated from 1981, when he was introduced to her by another leading Jesuit, John Hardon, an adviser to Cardinal Ratzinger who is also said to be considered saint material. McGuire went on to become a confessor and spiritual director to Mother Teresa’s religious order. Her successor Sister Nirmala described him in a letter submitted on his behalf to the court as “was one of the very few priests to whom …[Mother Teresa] entrusted the spiritual care of the Missionaries of Charity.”

Yet all the while, he was known (or at least strongly suspected) by senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church to be a serial abuser of young boys in his care. When he was finally brought to trial in 2006, evidence was presented of abuse going back over three decades – most of which had ignored or brushed aside by his superiors. Finally, in 2009 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison following a second conviction for child rape. The Society of Jesus is still fighting legal moves by his victims to obtain compensation.

In 1993, McGuire was temporarily suspended after being accused of inappropriate behaviour with a 16 year old boy and sent on a course of psychiatric treatment. This might have ended his ministry had not his powerful supporters intervened. Hardon seems to have been convinced of his innocence of the more serious allegations (though he accepted that McGuire’s admitted conduct — such as sharing pornography and showers with the boy — had been “highly imprudent”) and reassured him that his work with Mother Teresa’s order could continue.

Hitherto there has been no suggestion that Mother Teresa herself knew of the suspicions about McGuire. But a letter in her name — and very probably written by her — has now emerged. In it, she acknowledges the “grave” nature of the child-abuse scandal and stresses “how careful we must be to guard the purity and reputation of that priesthood”. The letter goes on to assert Mother Teresa’s own “confidence and trust in Fr. McGuire” and states that she wishes to see “his vital ministry resume as soon as possible.” And indeed his ministry — and abuse of children — resumed soon afterwards.

Mother Teresa’s influence, of course, was considerable if not in itself decisive. Patrick Wall, a lawyer and former Benedictine monk who has represented many victims of priestly abuse, is quoted as saying that “We’re talking about extremely powerful people who could have gotten Father McGuire off the streets in 1994… I’m thinking of all those kids who could have been saved.”

The letter perhaps reveals little more than naivety on Mother Teresa’s part: she had been persuaded by Hardon, who had himself been duped by the plausible and manipulative Fr McGuire, that he deserved a second chance. But it also demonstrates how lightly serious allegations of child abuse were still being treated by the Catholic authorities as recently as the mid 1990s, especially when the alleged abuser was prominent and theologically sound. Teresa herself, to judge by her words, seems to have been much less concerned about the need to protect children from paedophile clergy than with preserving the “purity and reputation” of the church and the priesthood. Scarcely the stuff of which saints are (or should be) made.