Thursday, 30 April 2009
Health promoters, community and church workers in Mexico are asking why people in their country are dying from swine flu, while wealthy countries panic and the virus spreads around the world. The answer, they say, is that the poor are always the first victims.
So far, only Mexico has seen deaths as a result of the new strand of flu virus which has spread from livestock into the human population.
Some 145 deaths from cross-viral infections were estimated in the country over the past two weeks. 26 fatalities were then confirmed through initial tests. A further 2,000 have been predicted.
This morning the headline estimate went up to 159. However, a new, more rigorous epidemiological test has been introduced. So far it has linked 9 deaths to swine flu with surety.
Uneven health care, inadequate or out-of-date vaccines and slow responses from over-stretched services have been implicated in the deaths.
According to the World Bank, half of Mexico’s population was living in poverty in 2002 and the statistics have not improved greatly over the past seven years.
Current estimates are that approximately 55 million people live in poverty in Mexico, with some 22 million of those people living in extreme poverty.
The potential for the epidemic to cause devastation in poor regions is a dimension of the swine flu outbreak which needs much more attention, say health promoters.
Thee is also real concern about the wider impact of swine flu on Mexico's economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism. There has been a sudden decrease in visitors and this is hitting workers who rely on tourism-related income.
Experts say that a travel ban would not have any real impact on the the spread of the virus at this stage, and would be bad in other respects - medics and supplies coming into the country, for example.
*What ARE we worried about?????*
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Reading those words “Moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus” seem on one level as abandonment of the Church and of Christ. Yet, before reaching for your pitchforks and torches it might be good to remember that the late John Paul II was similarly criticized in 1986 when he convened an International Day of Prayer at Assisi.
At the time, the late pontiff was accused of opening the door to religious relativism. Inviting individuals such as the Dalai Lama, who is also inconveniently addressed as “your holiness,” was just too bitter a pill for many in the Church to swallow. Obviously, John Paul II was not abandoning the Church or Christ. He was merely acting on the belief expressed at the Second Vatican Council that truth resides in every religion.
Tomorrow I'm off to the Isle of Cumbrae, to Millport, to be Spiritual Advisor to a Cursillo Weekend. These weekends are always a wonderful experience, and after the stresses of the last few weeks it will be good for me to get away and recharge some of the spiritual batteries, although it's hard work and relatively sleepless for me. I'm sure nobody will particularly miss my posts!
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Creative Coffins, the maker of these beauties, seems to have started with the good idea that people want a "green alternative" to traditional wooden coffins. Theirs are made of non-toxic cartonboard and "use only natural starch based glues in assembly – no bolts, screws, tape or other fixings." But then they had the brilliant idea of covering them with huge images which suggest your recently lost loved one is inside a box of chocs, a bottle of vodka, a snooker table, or even a fruit machine. Genius!
Choose your novelty coffin here! Guaranteed to turn tragedy into farce. Prices available on request.
A special message from RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter
Published: 20 April 2009
Last week, many of you will have seen extensive media coverage around RCN member Margaret Haywood who was removed from the nursing register for breaking patient confidentiality. Margaret took part in undercover filming as part of a BBC Panorama documentary in 2005 which exposed poor care at the Trust she worked at.
Margaret has been supported by the RCN since charges were brought in relation to her participation in the Panorama programme. Whilst the RCN cannot condone breaking patient confidentiality, we feel that the decision taken by the NMC to remove Margaret from the nursing register was unduly harsh.
The RCN would always encourage members to raise any concerns they may have about patient care with their employer in the first instance. However, if members do not feel able to do this for any reason then they should contact the RCN as a matter of urgency and we will take action on their behalf.
In consultation with Margaret, I am currently working with the RCN's Director of Legal Services, Chris Cox, and Margaret's barrister to look at the legal options around the NMC's decision. Although we are not able to make public the detail of these discussions at this stage, we are investigating what grounds there may be for an appeal. If an appeal does go ahead it will have to be lodged within 28 days of the NMC's decision to remove Margaret from the register.
In order to gauge the feeling around Margaret's removal from the register, the RCN has set up an online petition. This is open to anyone that would like to show their support for Margaret. Due to the fact that the petition is aimed at gathering views from the general public and the nursing profession, I don't feel that it would be appropriate for RCN staff members, myself included, to sign the petition. However, please be reassured that the RCN is vigorously defending Margaret and supporting her at this time.
The petition can be found at: www.gopetition.com/online/27030.html.
Chief Executive & General Secretary
Just one journalist turned up for the recent GACON press conference of hard-line Anglicans. Is the long-running ecclesiastical war becoming a media snore?
"The Anglican schism is an ongoing media event, and as soon as the media stops paying attention, the schism will lose momentum," says Episcopal Cafe editor Jim Naughton. http://tinyurl.com/dhkzm3
He also points out, intriguingly, that Bishop Martyn Minns employs the same public relations firm that masterminded the Swift Boat Veterans campaign against former US Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, who lost out to George W. Bush.
Over on the Church Times, cartoonist Dave Walker makes this graphic comment on the proceedings:http://tinyurl.com/csya55
Last year Ekklesia published a book on 'Anglican wars' and beyond, Fear or freedom? Why a warring church must change, which suggested that the whole thing is something of a distraction from the real (and positive) challenges facing the churches.
Partick Thistle Nil fans, like me, are worried about the team's poor home record which has seen them take more points away from home than in front of us, their worshippers, at the Field of Dreams.
Discussing on the fans' forum what can be done about it, one Jags supporter suggested for the next home game:
Well, it might just work.
However, the list, which includes other suggestions, doesn't include the vital factor.... wear pink!
Monday, 20 April 2009
Sunday, 19 April 2009
They made the discovery using a machine called the Holy Smoke Chamber. A fragment of the True Cross was accelerated to 40% the speed of light and collided with a King James Bible. The 25m wide device is cooled by a constant stream of holy water.
According to Christian scientific theory, God is composed of three smaller particles called father, son and holy spirit. The experiments has been criticised by others, however, who claim that earlier work by Revelation et al suggests that recreating the son particle on earth could trigger a process known as ‘armageddon’, which potentially could wipe out Life on Earth.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
From News Biscuit:
Rural parishes unable to find permanent members of the clergy have been forced to bring in supply vicars whose inexperience and lack of authority has made them vulnerable to disruptive parishioners, says a new report.
One temporary priest was reduced to tears with heckling and catcalling during his sermon, and when he looked up he saw that all the church-goers had turned their pews round to face the opposite direction. ‘These young supply vicars do not have the experience to be able to hold the attention of wayward Christians,’ admitted the Archbishop of Canterbury. ‘The moment they turn their back they are pelted with screwed up service sheets and Alpha Course leaflets made into paper planes, and many of them just don’t know what to do.’
Read the rest. How long before the bad behaviour jumps the pond? How long before the the unruliness moves beyond supply vicars and priests to vicars and rectors? Soon and very soon, I'm guessing.
Thistle's promotion hopes stay alive after a hard fought win against Morton, Thistle have to withstand some intense Morton pressure.
The goal that won the game arrived in the 19th minute. Kevin Cuthbert was only able to palm out a long Ian Maxwell throw and when the ball was returned to the box Lucas Akins steered the ball home (pictured).
With the gap between Thistle and St Johnstone back to four points, for 24 hours at least, all eyes are on McDiarmid Park tomorrow with Thistle hoping that Queen of the South can repeat their win at Firhill last week and keep our promotion hopes well and truly alive.
Friday, 17 April 2009
The Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen is in Glasgow this weekend, helping the Church of Scotland "Contend for the Faith". Hear him at St George's, Tron at 7pm on Saturday night.
He has been in the UK for the GAFCON Primates' Council meeting. See the final communiquéfrom that meeting here.
Oh no! MadPriest & Jensen in Scotland at the same time! Baton down the hatches!
Read more about Pete Jensen HERE.
It may not be a galaxy far far away, but Strathclyde Police is clearly feeling a disturbance in the Force after eight officers listed their religion as Jedi. See this link as proof!
"Far from living a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some members of the noble Jedi order have now chosen Glasgow and its surrounding streets as their home."
A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said: "At the time of the request, 10 (eight police officers and two police staff) had recorded their religion as Jedi."
This does not bode well for criminals in Dumbarton!
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
In an excited, highly appreciative voice, he talked about the wonderful work carried out in the preparation of the beautiful flowers, the crown of thorns, the grave clothes and so on.
However, when he declared his unbridled joy at having so many committed cross-dressers in his church, the laughter could have been heard in the heavens above.
Susan Boyle's story is a parable of our age. She is a singer of enormous talent, who cared for her widowed mother until she died two years ago. Susan's is a combination of ability and virtue that deserves congratulation.
So how come she was treated as a laughing stock when she walked on stage for the opening heat of Britain's Got Talent 2009 on Saturday night?
The moment the reality show's audience and judging panel saw the small, shy, middle-aged woman, they started to smirk. When she said she wanted a professional singing career to equal that of Elaine Paige, the camera showed audience members rolling their eyes in disbelief. They scoffed when she told Simon Cowell, one of the judges, how she'd reached her forties without managing to develop a singing career because she hadn't had the opportunity. Another judge, Piers Morgan, later wrote on his blog that, just before she launched into I Dreamed a Dream, the 3000-strong audience in Glasgow was laughing and the three judges were suppressing chuckles.
It was rude and cruel and arrogant. Susan Boyle from Blackburn, West Lothian, was presumed to be a buffoon. But why?
Britain's Got Talent isn't a beauty pageant. It isn't a youth opportunity scheme. It is surely about discovering untapped and unrecognised raw talent from all sections of society.
And Susan Boyle has talent to burn.
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
I've been putting this off, and putting this off, but it was indeed Partick Thistle Nil on Saturday. This puts an end to promotion dreams! Manager Ian McCall's face tells it all, if we could see it behind his hands!
Just so it wouldn't be too obvious, the questions were asked in random order. And so the congregation looked on as the letter boards displayed an A, followed by an R, followed by an S. When the next letter went up, it was of course E.
It was all the elder members of the flock could do to bite down hard on smirking lips and banish the thought that the devil had indeed been hard at work.
And then this:
Still on matters ecclesiastical, former Time Lord Sylvester McCoy, currently touring in Little Shop of Horrors, reveals he was once a trainee priest, with dreams of becoming Bishop of the Western Isles.
"My time came to an end, however, when - aged 18 - I realised I'd rather be taking frocks off," he says, giggling. "I'd have been the bishop who runs off with the housekeeper."
Finally, for those intending to tour here this summer, a language lesson....
Dialect dilemmas continued. Iain MacArthur from West Lothian visited Glasgow at the weekend only to overhear one white-tracksuited young man exchange jocular insults with his sartorially similar chum.
"Yermaw'sanasboandyerda'satranny," yelled out the first young man, which was later translated to a confused Iain as "Your mother has obviously crossed the boundaries of acceptable social behaviour while your father is predisposed to favouring women's attire."
Stanley Baxter would be spinning in his grave, were he not very much still with us.
The Bishop of Gambia once commiserated with me when he told me that he understood that English was not my first language. He may be right there come to think of it!
Monday, 13 April 2009
A Brazilian woman was refused entry to the UK when she arrived at Newcastle Airport with luggage containing only T-shirts, a dressing gown and lingerie.
UK Border Agency officials said they suspected the 32-year-old of being involved in the sex industry.
She had arrived on a flight from Geneva on 4 April, the agency said.
Airport staff became suspicious when she could not say what she would be doing in the UK, other than "seeing Newcastle city centre".
The majority of people in the UK believe in heaven and life after death, according to the findings of research published today.
A survey of 2060 people showed 53% believe in life after death, 55% believe in heaven and 70% believe in the human soul. (I'm glad of this)
The study, carried out between October and November last year for the public theology think tank Theos, also showed 39% believe in ghosts and 27% believe in reincarnation. A further 22% believe in astrology or horoscopes and 15% believe in fortune telling or tarot, the research revealed.
Half of people in London, the highest proportion in the UK, believe in ghosts, the survey showed.
The capital also topped the table for belief in life after death, at 69%, belief in the human soul, at 75%, and belief in heaven, at 69%.
Scotland had the highest number of people who believe in fortune telling or tarot, at 18%, and Wales had the highest proportion of people who believe in reincarnation, at 32%.
(Most of them probably think we come back as sheep!)
Often I despair!
Sunday, 12 April 2009
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Friday, 10 April 2009
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Lord, why do we keep doing this to you? When will we ever learn?
Family, and how much they mean to us is a pertinent point being underlined for me just now with dad's situation. Families are important! This visit means so much to the RW, and she deserves a break from my gloom.
It was good today to talk this morning with a Social Worker, Jude, God bless her, who seemed to care about dad as a person and not another file in her caseload.
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Trying to get a nurse to speak to me was impossible and I had to phone back at 4.30pm to get to speak to someone. Even then, they seemed patchy about the history and I had to retell the whole story.
I think he's had a wee stroke, but at least there's talk about moving him to a hospital which is local, rather than in Paisley.
It's not a nice time, or a particularly hopeful Holy Week. The time for independent living for him has passed, I believe, and if he survives this latest episode, he'll need to be taken into care. That I dread.
An advertisement for a Pomegranate drink has been banned after it claimed to promote eternal life. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided that consumers drinking POM Wonderful won't, in fact, live for ever. The claim also clashes with the Church's monopoly on selling eternal life. A spokesman for the ASA says: "We concluded that the claim was ambiguous and if read as a health claim, rather than an obvious untruth, it was capable of objective substantiation".This puts the Church of England in a difficult position, particularly at Easter. By advertising services about Someone who "Cheats Death" we could find ourselves banned by the ASA. Unless we have "obective substantiation" we could find ourselves being compared with pomegranate juice.
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
In Hell there grew a Judas Tree
Where Judas hanged and died
because he could not bear to see
his master crucified
Our Lord descended into Hell
and found his Judas there
for ever hanging on the tree
grown from his own despair
so Jesus cut his Judas down
and took him in his arms
“It was for this I came” he said
“and not to do you harm
my Father gave me twelve good men
and all of them I kept
though one betrayed and one denied
some fled and others slept
in three days’ time I must return
to make the others glad
but first I had to come to Hell
and share the death you had
my tree will grow in place of yours
its roots lie here as well
there is no final victory
without this soul from Hell”
So when we all condemned him
as of every traitor worst
remember that of all his men
Our Lord forgave him first
D Ruth Etchells
The charity Sciaf, (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund), distributed little cardboard containers called the WEE BOX encouraging folk to give up a favourite item for Lent, and to put in the box the money they would have spent. Pop Idol winner from Glasgow, Michelle McManus gave up crisps.
However, one Diary reader in Stirling simply felt-tipped on an additional S and R on the cardboard receptacle to make it SWEER BOX, left it on his office desk and within days his colleagues had filled it to bursting. As he tells us: "Well, we were in the middle of an office flitting, and things got rather fraught."
Monday, 6 April 2009
Today he is very groggy, but seems to have damaged an eye, which they are going to have a proper look at! He is probably totally unaware I was in visiting today.
We are dealing with three Social Work teams here. Paisley, Dumbarton, and Glasgow, but we need to get him into a Care Home in Glasgow, if he is to live much longer. This means all three teams working together, and that's going to be a big issue. A bit of light today, though, inasmuch as Dumbarton has appointed him a personal Social Worker who seems to be keen to effect a positive outcome.
Keep a-praying that all this works out for the best, my fellow bloggers!
Sunday, 5 April 2009
PALM SUNDAY:Just as you cannot understand what happened on Good Friday unless you understand what happened on Easter Sunday, you also cannot understand Good Friday unless you understand what happened on Palm Sunday.The tragedy of the Messiah is not that he died but that he was given up to die.Jesus was ultimately betrayed by the world and he needed God to rescue him. This is also the life experience of us all.This is one way in which we know that Christ is one with us and we are one with Christ.
Thanks for this Mad One!