Saturday, June 30, 2018

'Building blocks' for life found on Saturn's moon

Scientists have found the 'building blocks' for life on Saturn's moon Enceladus

Scientists have found the "building blocks" for life on Saturn's moon Enceladus, where they have discovered complex organic molecules.

The study on the matter, published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, is based off data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft —before Cassini plunged into Saturn's atmosphere and ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

“It is the first ever detection of complex organics coming from an extraterrestrial water-world,” said Frank Postberg, the lead author of the study, in a statement on the European Space Agency's website.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

World Council of Churches: Taking the Pulse of Popes and Protestants

Care for creation and universal primacy on the agenda for the 70th annivesary of WCC...

Pope's World Council of Churches visit takes on significance in divisive era

Pope Francis' upcoming visit to Geneva to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches, a fellowship of 348 Christian denominations, is taking on special significance because of the increasingly divisive nature of global politics, say several former ecumenical dialogue participants.

..."When the Bishop of Rome gathers with leaders of other Christian communions, he and they are making a statement about the unity to which God calls us, not only as members of the Christian family but as members of the human family," said Massa.

...The commission said that there had been "significant ecumenical discussion" about a "universal ministry of primacy" 
...Delaney said the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the World Council is of unique value among the many such ecumenical dialogues.
"It's the only way we can keep in touch with developments in the Protestant churches and how they help or hinder Christian unity," she said. "So, it's very important."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Erdogan fears world war between the cross and the crescent

Erdogan “They say they’re going to kick our religious men out of Austria. Do you think we will not react if you do such a thing? “That means we’re going to have to do something.”

Erdogan denounces Austria's decision to close mosques

Comments came the day after the Austrian government announced it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday strongly criticised Austria’s move to close mosques and expel Turkish-funded imams, criticising the decision as anti-Islamic and promising a response.

“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Mr Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul.

His comments came the day after the Austrian government announced it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families, and would shut down seven mosques as part of a clampdown on “political Islam”.

The announcement triggered fury in Ankara.

Interior minister Herbert Kickl of the far-right Freedom Party, the junior partner in Austria’s coalition government, said the move concerned imams with alleged links to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations organisation, a branch of Turkey’s religious affairs agency Diyanet.

Mr Kickl said his government suspects them of contravening a ban on foreign funding of religious office holders.

A Turkish presidential spokesman had on Friday described the Austrian move as “a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country”.

However, other European far-right leaders welcomed the announcement.

Even Austria’s opposition parties were broadly supportive of Friday’s announcement, with the centre-left Social Democrats calling it “the first sensible thing this government has done”.

But the Green Party pointed out it could serve as a propaganda victory for the Turkish government.

Mr Erdogan, speaking on Saturday, said: “They say they’re going to kick our religious men out of Austria. Do you think we will not react if you do such a thing?

“That means we’re going to have to do something.”

About 360,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, including 117,000 Turkish nationals.

Relations between Ankara and Vienna have been strained since a failed coup in 2016 against Mr Erdogan that was followed by a wave of arrests.

His speech comes in the run-up to presidential and legislative elections on June 24 in which Mr Erdogan faces stiff opposition.

The Austrian government has banned Turkish officials from holding meetings in the country before the polls.