first_imgPope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” highlighted many of the economic and social justice issues of today’s world and prompted reactions from critics worldwide.  William Purcell, associate director for Catholic Social Tradition and Practice at the Center for Social Concerns, said the pope “is not being an idealist, but a realist with ideals.”  Purcell said the apostolic exhortation’s contents are both prescriptive and intellectual, focusing largely on pastoral theology and how the Church can engage and shepherd people. “Francis addresses [“Evangelii Gaudium”] to the whole people of God, so not just to the laity, but also to the bishops, clergy and religious,” Purcell said. “He’s talking to the leaders at all levels, including lay leaders … and he’s challenging us to find creative ways to share the key emphasis of God, which is love.”  Many of the critiques of and negative reaction to the text are “short-sighted,” Purcell said, misunderstanding the context of the pope’s statements and its background in Catholic Social Tradition. One notable criticism came from talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who said Francis’s ideas were “pure Marxism” in a Nov. 27 show about the document, titled “It’s Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is.”  Purcell said people should remember that the pope is writing about theology, not ideology. “What he’s really talking about is joy – that’s what ‘gaudium’ means,” Purcell said. “He’s talking about how we’re called to evangelize and that nobody likes a grim do-gooder. “What he’s saying is that we’ve got to be joyful about it, we’ve got to be embracing it. We should attract people by our actions, and so we should be joyful and life-giving.”  The apostolic exhortation is the first thing Francis has written completely on his own during his papacy, and Purcell said it presents his vision of what the Church is about, speaking from his position as the head of the institution. “I think it’s exciting because people have been taking notice,” Purcell said. “Some people react to it out of their ideology and not their theology, and people struggle with some of the things he’s talking about.”  Purcell said throughout the document, Francis quotes bishops from across the world, as well as past popes and saints. Because of this, the content “isn’t new, but part of our tradition.”  “His insight comes from talking about these things in a new style, in an uplifting way, so people see the power of what we’re called to do,” Purcell said. “He becomes so welcoming, so charismatic, and he speaks to the common person.  “It doesn’t become esoteric or dense, because he’s speaking to the person in the pew. People can read this and understand it … and I think they get excited by it.”  The four main themes of the text are joy, poverty, peace and justice, Purcell said. Beyond the thematic theological elements, Francis “becomes prescriptive and deals with real, concrete ways of addressing problems,” he said. “The beauty of the exhortation is that he writes so well, and he writes so positively and so openly,” Purcell said. “This is a pope who is a Jesuit, so he’s a thinker. There are ideals of things like solidarity and the common good, but he’s being a realist about how we try to address those things. “He gives concrete examples; he names saints or people or particular things so it doesn’t just become words like ‘solidarity,’ but you get the stories and symbols and scripture behind that makes it come alive.”  To best utilize the document’s wisdom, Purcell said parishes need to find a way to break it into parts and find pastoral applications for it. “It’s too much to swallow all at one time, because it’s so rich and there’s so much good within it,” he said. “But it’s fun to look at since [Pope Francis is] just so positive, and he speaks so directly. He’s prophetic, but not obnoxious.”  Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at [email protected]last_img read more

first_imgHealthInternationalLifestylePrint Human testing for experimental Ebola vaccine by: – October 14, 2014 Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Share 99 Views   no discussions TORONTO – Human testing of an experimental Canadian-made Ebola vaccine began Monday, with federal officials saying the drug could be shipped to West Africa within months if it proves successful.Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the launch of the vaccine’s first clinical trial marks a promising step in the global campaign to contain the virus, which the World Health Organization says has killed more than 4,000 people.“This provides hope because if the Canadian vaccine is shown to be safe and effective, it will stop this devastating outbreak,” Ambrose said in a conference call from Calgary.Twenty vials of the vaccine have been sent to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland for testing on about 40 healthy volunteers, she said.The Phase 1 trial will determine if the vaccine created by Public Health Agency of Canada and known as VSV-EBOV is safe for human use. It will also determine the proper dosage level and test for possible side effects, Ambrose said.Studies have shown the vaccine works in primates both to prevent infection when given before exposure and to increase survival chances when given quickly after exposure.Canada’s chief public health officer said results from the human trial are expected by December, and if successful, the next stage would be to test it in a larger human sample, including those directly handling Ebola cases in West Africa.“The health-care workers on the ground are the most likely target to do the next step,” which could begin by the end of the year or early 2015, Dr. Gregory Taylor said in a news conference in Toronto.“Clearly if those studies show that it’s effective in health-care workers, the world would go into mass production.”A small U.S. company called NewLink Genetics holds the licence for the vaccine and will be arranging the trials at the U.S. military lab.National Postlast_img read more

first_imgGroup Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu will lock horns today at the 2019 edition of NNPC Upstream Golf Tournament at Benin Club golf course, Benin City.Kyari alongside Shaibu and others guests are expected to perform the ceremonial tee-off at the tournament sponsored by NNPC and its subsidiaries by 10am, while actions continue later on between them to determine the best golfer. The presentation of prizes and closing ceremony is slated for evening.Speaking on today’s event, BCGS competition/handicap secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro remarked that dignitaries across the country and captains in the oil and gas industry, especially from the upstream sector will take part in the tournament. Dr Ighodaro, who won the 2018 edition of the tournament said: “The club on its part has done well in terms of organisation. The tournament is to drive home the NNPC dedication to sustainability of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the society at large. The NNPC coordinator of the tournament Dr Mohammed Zango said Kyari has accepted to personally do the ceremonial tee-off today at the club.  “Kyari is committed to encouraging healthy life style amongst NNPC staffs, strengthening NNPC- host community relationship, and fostering better business relationship amongst captains in the oil and gas industries, in line with his three point agenda of transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE).“Golf is a game of life. This tournament is an opportunity for NNPC staff, guests and golfers to unwind from their busy schedules and participate fully in the event. It is to maximize the benefit of physical fitness.” The event teed-off yesterday with men’s handicap 19 – 28; veteran men and ladies, as well as super veteran men respectively, while arrival of guests and cocktail party was held last night. Today’s event is for men handicap 0-18 and ladies. Also, NNPC staff, special guests, and guests as well.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more