Global Church: September 2007 Archives

On Pilgrimage

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Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston recently completed a pilgrimage with his Orthodox counterpart, Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Church in Boston. They visited Rome, Constantinople and St. Petersburg. He wrote up the experience here and here, complete with gorgeous pictures.

In fact, the Cardinal has inspired me. In the spirit of promoting interfaith dialogue, I'm going to solicit donations to send my family on a worldwide pilgrimage along with an Orthodox family yet to be determined (first come, first serve).

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Response from AsiaNews

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I received an email back from the editor of AsiaNews with regards to their crazy story on the looming North American Union and the Amero. Attached was a letter from the article's author that was a history lesson stating that the US government doesn't always do what the people want. I realized then that I over-emphasized the ridiculousness of the ideas in the article and under-emphasizing the flimsiness of the author's sources.

I sent a clarifying email, pointing out that whatever my difference of opinion with the author, his research did not even reach high school levels of acceptability. Just to recap, here's what the author offered as evidence that "the United States along with Canada and Mexico, appears to be getting ready to launch a new single currency - the Amero":

  • a report by the Council on Foreign Relations. The report nowhere calls for an Amero.
  • a clip of a CNBC report he found on YouTube. The report cites no evidence, it's an interview with some conspiracy theorist who urges viewers to google Amero and see what the government is planning.
  • a webpage of an alarmist far-right US radio host. The site features pictures of fake Amero coins which were made by a private Denver company.
  • a suggestion that the Denver mint, currently being renovated, is actually being turned into an Amero factory.
  • a Wikipedia page. The page he references merely discusses the CFR report and notes that one of its members has publicly called for an Amero.

Not one single person was interviewed. Not one actual piece of evidence that there are plans for an Amero was presented. He simply touted internet rumors.

If they can publish this, how do we know they're getting Lebanon, Indonesia or, for goodness' sake, Chinaright? This is a Church institution putting this stuff out. This is very very frustrating.

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AsiaNews on the "North American Union"

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I read AsiaNews just about every day. It's a news service compiled by the Church's missionary congregation that features reports from around the world. Until today, I assumed they were a fairly reliable source of news.

But if they can get something like this so drastically wrong, one has to wonder what else they get wrong.

With a bank crisis looming on the horizon, an odd piece of information is becoming news. As unlikely as it may seem, the United States along with Canada and Mexico, appears to be getting ready to launch a new single currency: the Amero.

Really? Do they really think this?

Wikipedia already sports a page dedicated to the Amero with the photos of prototypes.

A news report on the Amero broadcast on CNBC is also available on Youtube.

Similarly, 20 Amero coins can be seen on the Hal Turner Show webpage, with a small D visible, D as in ‘minted in Denver.’ Curiously, the Denver Mint is currently closed to the public, ostensibly for restoration work, till September 28.

It's on Wikipedia and YouTube - it must be true! And the Denver mint is being converted into an Amero-factory AS WE SPEAK! AMERICA LOSES MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY NEXT WEEK!

Here's the kicker:

Whilst AsiaNews is unable to determine whether there is any basis to such claims, it does seem certain that a plan for a North American union is being developed.

If you read the entire article, you'll discover that the author did not interview a single person. It's based entirely on what likely amounted to 5 minutes of googling. He encountered some kooky websites - likely the products of either one-world wannabe master-planners or nationalist conspiracy-theorist fear-mongerers who respectively have dreams or nightmares about the North American Union - and wrote them up as newsworthy. Had he tried talking to actual Americans he would have found that not only is the idea of a looming North American Union a fiction, it's also opposed by any American with any sense. Sure, it's possible to find individuals, like former Mexican president Vincente Fox and various (looney-tunes) think tanks and opinion journalist, who favor the idea, but there are certainly no plans in the works.

I'm not being flippant here, this is kinda serious. I honestly don't care that they got this particular story wrong. I can't imagine it hurting anybody to propagate the idea that a North American Union is coming. This would be a laughing matter if it weren't for the source.

The problem is that up until now, I've considered AsiaNews a reliable source. They report on wars, refugees, famine, disease and religious tensions (including the persecution of Christians) around the world, and I've assumed they get reports from contacts "on the ground" so to speak. Yet this article was clearly written by somebody who does not live in America and has not the slightest clue about such things as a North American Union and a continental currency. If they can get something so completely wrong that's so easily refutable, how can we honestly trust what they have to say about complex civil wars on the other side of the world? We should hope that they take greater care to verify stories about more serious subjects, but really, how can we know that?

I have emailed the editor and asked for an explanation. I'll let you know what I hear.

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Van Thuân

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The cause for beatification for Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân is officially open.

Today, the Holy Father received officials from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which Cardinal Van Thuân headed after being expelled from Vietnam. Zenit translated his address. Here's a snip:

Cardinal Van Thuân was a man of hope; he lived hope and spread it among everyone he met. It was because of this spiritual energy that he resisted all his physical and moral difficulties. Hope sustained him as a bishop when he was isolated for 13 years from his diocesan community; hope helped him to see beyond the absurdity of the events that happened to him -- he was never put on trial during his long imprisonment -- a providential plan of God. The news of his sickness, a tumor, which led to his death, reached him almost at the same time as his elevation to cardinal by John Paul II, who held him in great esteem and affection. Cardinal Van Thuân loved to repeat that the Christian is a man of hour, of the now, beginning from the present moment to welcome and live with Christ's love. In this ability to live the present moment his intimate abandonment in God’s hands shines through as does the evangelical simplicity which we all admired in him. Is it possible -- he would ask -- that he who trusts in the Father would refuse to let himself be embraced in his arms?

Dear brothers and sisters I welcomed with profound joy the news that the cause for beatification of this singular prophet of Christian hope has begun and, while we entrust this chosen soul to the Lord, we pray that his example will be for us a valuable teaching. With that, I bless you all from my heart.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global Church category from September 2007.

Global Church: August 2007 is the previous archive.

Global Church: October 2007 is the next archive.

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