Saudi women take victory lap as driving ban ends

RIYADH (Reuters) – Women in Saudi Arabia hit the roads on Sunday, ushering in the end of the world’s last ban on female drivers, long seen as an emblem of women’s repression in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

   “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah al-Qusaibi said as she cruised around the eastern city of Khobar just after midnight, with police looking on. “Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she added, pointing to the back.

    The ban’s end, ordered last September by King Salman, is part of sweeping reforms pushed by his powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a bid to transform the economy of the world’s top oil exporter and open up its cloistered society.

“It is our right and finally we took it. It is only a matter of time for the society to accept it, generally,” said Samira al-Ghamdi, a 47-year-old psychologist from Jeddah, as she drove herself to work.

Read Article:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-women-driving/saudi-women-gear-up-for-new-freedom-as-driving-ban-ends-idUSKBN1JJ0C2

Why Catholicism? Because It Offers True Forgiveness

Confessional box

BRANDON VOGT

Like many people growing up, I believed in God but didn’t have a strong personal faith. I didn’t pray much outside of church, except before mealtimes and in special emergencies. I never read the Bible on my own. I didn’t know it was possible to have a relationship with God. For me, God was a loving, wise, but distant being—a sort of cosmic grandfather who was there when I needed him but otherwise remote.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, I had embraced what sociologists call “moralistic therapeutic deism.” It’s today’s most popular view of God. This view holds that God is concerned with two basic things: making sure we behave the right way (moralistic) and helping us feel better about ourselves (therapeutic). The last term (deism) adds that God does not personally interact with the world but only pops in on rare occasions, otherwise content with letting the universe run on its own.

In college, as I studied and learned more about God, I discovered two glaring problems with that view. First, it doesn’t demand anything of us, and second, it offers nothing significant. For the moralistic therapeutic deist, God is just there, without consequence or reaction. And that sort of God didn’t compel me at all.

Read Article:  https://catholicexchange.com/offers-true-forgiveness

Pope Francis: The Our Father is a spiritual roadmap

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Geneva on June 21, 2018. Credit: Vatican Media.

.- The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of the Church, confirming a person’s identity as a beloved child of God, and reminding Catholics of the responsibility owed toward their brothers and sisters in Christ, Pope Francis said Thursday.

“‘Our Father’: these two simple words offer us a roadmap for the spiritual life,” the pope said in a homily at Mass in Geneva June 21. The Mass took place at the end of a day-long trip to the Swiss city for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches.

In his homily, the pope said the words “Our Father,” as taught by Jesus to his disciples in the day’s Gospel, reveal life’s meaning and a Christian’s identity: “we are God’s beloved sons and daughters.”

 

Read Article:  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-the-our-father-is-a-spiritual-roadmap-15326

Raccoon’s epic high-rise climb ends; it reaches top to find food, rest and release into the wild

Amid thousands of inaudible Internet sighs, the raccoon who reached amazing heights in downtown St. Paul got a well-earned rest Wednesday morning.

Snacking on smelly, wet cat food, the raccoon that offered a nation a split-second of respite sat in a cage atop UBS Plaza, whose final, 23rd story it had scaled about 3 a.m.

UBS’s management contracted with Brooklyn Park-based Wildlife Management Services to trap the animal, who was in good health, according to the firm and city officials.

Read Article:   https://www.twincities.com/2018/06/13/st-paul-mn-mprraccoon-raccoon-ubs-plaza/

Forgive me, Father: Confession offers path to healing, grace

Many Americans say they fear public speaking more than almost anything, but some Catholics also have anxiety about speaking privately with a priest about their sins in confession.

“Our sins only cause fear, confusion, division and harm,” said Father Mark Moriarty, pastor of St. Agnes in St. Paul. “God doesn’t want us to stay in that kind of terrible and harmful state. He is waiting and planning and nudging and encouraging us to receive his mercy.”

God offers peace, healing and joy to those who can overcome that fear and receive forgiveness for their sins in the sacrament of reconciliation, he added.

The season of Lent and especially Holy Week offer good opportunities to meet the Church’s requirement that Catholics confess serious sins at least once a year because the Church is commemorating Christ’s death and resurrection, Father Moriarty said.

“Lent is a beautiful time to acknowledge how much we need Christ and to personally participate in the saving effects of his meritorious death,” he said.

Read Article:  http://thecatholicspirit.com/news/local-news/forgive-me-father-confession-offers-path-to-healing-grace/

Analysis: rise in young Catholics attending Mass, survey suggests

EGYPT-RELIGION-CHRISTIANITY-EASTER

A study indicates an increase in Mass attendance, but a failure to accept orthodox Catholic teaching

With the youth synod only a few months away, a major new survey of young Catholics in Britain has some startling findings. On the plus side, Complex Catholicism: The Lives and Faith of Young Catholics in England and Wales Today shows a strong increase in regular Mass attendance (at least monthly) from 25 per cent of all respondents in 2009 to 36 per cent in 2017. Irregular Mass attendance (less than monthly) has increased from 59 per cent in 2009 to 75 per cent today.

But the survey also includes some unsettling findings about what young Catholics actually believe: well over half do not hold traditional Catholic beliefs on God, many believe that Jesus was only human and not the Son of God, and a large number are willing to ignore the Church’s moral teachings.

Read Article:   http://catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/06/12/analysis-rise-in-young-catholics-attending-mass-survey-suggests/

World Cup 2018: Leading counter terror official warns Americans warned not to take electronic devices to Russia over hacking fears

Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center William Evanina

A leading counter-terror official has reportedly warned Americans against bringing their devices to the World Cup over hacking fears.

The director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, told Reuters that travellers could be susceptible to hacking by the Russian government or criminals.

“If you’re planning on taking a mobile phone, laptop, PDA, or other electronic device with you – make no mistake – any data on those devices (especially your personally identifiable information) may be accessed by the Russian government or cyber criminals,” he said.

Read Article:  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/world-cup-2018-electronic-devices-russia-hacking-fears-counter-terror-official-william-evanina-a8396236.html

Life on Mars? Rover’s Latest Discovery Puts It ‘On the Table’

mars

Scientists for the first time have confidently identified on Mars a collection of carbon molecules used and produced by living organisms.

That does not prove that life has ever existed on Mars. The same carbon molecules, broadly classified as organic matter, also exist within meteorites that fall from space. They can also be produced in chemical reactions that do not involve biology.

Read Article:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/science/mars-nasa-life.html

Many Major US Airports Offer Sunday Mass

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.- Flying on Sunday and need a place for Mass? A recent study revealed that 40 percent of major US airports have chapels offering Sunday Mass times for travelers and airport employees.

Taking data from the 30 busiest airports in the U.S., the Pew Research Center identified airports offering Mass and other forms of Christian worship as well as Jewish and Muslim prayer services.

The 2015 Pew study found that more than half of the largest hub airports in the U.S. contain chapels. Eighteen out of the 30 busiest hubs in the nation have chapels orientated towards some faith, and 14 of those have regular services. Four airports have irregular prayer services and offer rooms for mediation. Additionally, 12 airports offer Catholic Mass.

Read Article:   https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/flying-on-sunday-many-airport-chapels-offer-mass-60361