Pope: In calling for peace and for an end to violence and conflict in the Middle East, Ukraine and parts of Africa

POPE-articleLarge

The Times

Pope Francis used a traditional Christmas address on Thursday to emphasize the plight of children in areas of conflict, pointing out their “impotent silence” that “cries out under the spade of many Herods,” a reference to the ancient king who slaughtered all the young boys of Bethlehem, according to the New Testament.

Vast numbers of children today are victims of violence, objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers, and they need to be saved, he said.

The pope spoke of “children displaced due to war and persecution, abused and taken advantage of before our very eyes and our complicit silence.” He singled out “infants massacred in bomb attacks,” including in the Middle East and in Pakistan, where 132 children were killed in a Taliban attack on a school this month.

In calling for global peace and for an end to violence and conflict in the Middle East, Ukraine and parts of Africa, Francis went off script to denounce “the globalization of indifference” that permits suffering and injustice to persist.

“So many men and women immersed in worldliness and indifference” are affected by hardness of the heart, he said, calling for reflection and change. And he chided the Vatican’s bureaucratic machine in another address this week for losing touch with its spiritual side in the pursuit of power.

As Christians exchanged gifts and shared family meals, the pope’s thoughts were with the world’s dispossessed, refugees and exiles, those suffering “brutal” ethnic or religious persecution and those held as hostages or killed because of their religious beliefs.

“Truly there are so many tears this Christmas,” Francis said from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica before thousands of faithful in the square below. The address was also broadcast live on the Internet.

To underscore his closeness to those suffering religious persecution, a theme of his nearly two years as pope, on Christmas Eve, Francis spoke with displaced Christians who are in a tent camp in northern Iraq and told them that they were like Jesus. Many in the camps have been forced to leave their homes by militants of the Islamic State.

“You are like Jesus on the night of his birth when he had been forced to flee,” the pope told them in a telephone call broadcast live by an Italian Catholic television station. “You are like Jesus in this situation, and that means we are praying even harder for you.”

The pope also denounced abortion, and his thoughts turned to “infants killed in the womb, deprived of that generous love of their parents and then buried in the egoism of a culture that does not love life.”

In his message on Thursday, the pope said he hoped that the world would respond to the plight of the needy by increasing humanitarian aid, and he asked “that the necessary assistance and treatment be provided” for the victims of Ebola, the deadly virus ravaging parts of West Africa.

Closing the address, he called on Jesus’ strength to turn “arms into plowshares, destruction into creativity, hatred into love and tenderness.”

In Britain, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Church of England, pulled out of the traditional Christmas Day ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral because of what his office described as a “severe cold.”

A draft of the sermon he had planned to deliver and that was released on his website reflected on the unofficial truce on Christmas Day in 1914, early in the First World War, between British and German soldiers.

“The problem is that the way it is told now it seems to end with a ‘happy ever after,’ ” the draft said.

It added: “The following day the war continued with the same severity. Nothing had changed; it was a one-day wonder. That is not the world in which we live — truces are rare.”

Dr. Craig Spencer recently returned from Guinea where he was treating patients with Ebola.

Dr. Craig Spencer recently returned from Guinea where he was treating patients with Ebola.

Dr. Craig Spencer recently returned from Guinea where he was treating patients with Ebola.

 

A 33-year-old Doctors Without Borders physician who recently treated Ebola patients in Guinea was rushed in an ambulance with police escorts from his Harlem home to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, sources said.

Craig Spencer, who was was suffering from Ebola-like symptoms — a 103-degree fever and nausea — spent Wednesday night bowling in Williamsburg, the sources said. He used Uber taxis to get there and back.

He landed at JFK airport on Oct. 17 on a connecting flight from Brussels, a source said. Spencer’s temperature was 98.7 degrees upon arrival, the source added.

Clad in hazmat suits, FDNY hazardous materials specialists sealed off his fifth-floor apartment around noon. Cops blocked off West 147th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam after he was taken to the hospital, witness Oscar Nunez said.

Another witness saw a person wrapped in blankets “like a mummy” being lifted from a wheelchair to a stretcher that was placed inside an ambulance.

“EMS HAZ TAC Units transferred to Bellevue Hospital a patient who presented a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms,” the Health Department wrote in a statement.

Spencer had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Africa, treating Ebola patients in Guinea, sources said.

He’s undergoing testing at Bellevue to see if he has the deadly virus.

“After consulting with the hospital and the CDC, DOHMH has decided to conduct a test for the Ebola virus because of this patient’s recent travel history, pattern of symptoms, and past work,” the Health Department said.

Test results should be available in the next 12 hours, they added.

As health officials wait for the results to come in, the case is being treated as if it were already confirmed, according to council member Mark Levine, who represents Spencer’s neighborhood.

“I want to assure everyone in Northern Manhattan that City, State and Federal public health authorities are responding with the highest possible level of urgency and marshaling every resource at their disposal to respond to this possible case,” he said in a statement.

NYPD caught dumping gloves, masks from Ebola site into street garbage can (VIDEO)

nypd-ebola-waste-garbage-1.si

RT news
Published: October 24, 2014

New York City police officers working around the Harlem apartment of Craig Spencer, the doctor who tested positive for the Ebola virus on Thursday, were caught discarding their protective gloves and masks in a street-corner trash bin.

According to the New York Post, the NYPD cordoned off the entire block in front of Spencer’s building on W. 147th Street. Authorities inside the apartment were reportedly wearing hazmat suits, so its possible that the gear-discarding officers were only on patrol outside the building.

NYPD bin protective wear after leaving ebola danger zone

 

 

Ebola in New York: Doctor who treated patients in Africa tests POSITIVE for virus after he’s rushed to Bellevue Hospital in New York with 103F fever and nausea