Catholic Economy – Obotafumeiro Mon, 21 Nov 2022 15:00:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Catholic Economy – Obotafumeiro 32 32 Shock turns to division after shooting at Slovakian gay bar Mon, 21 Nov 2022 15:00:05 +0000 Despite the immediate shock and outburst of solidarity following the recent terrorist attack by a 19-year-old far-right sympathizer, Slovak society seems to be caught up in even deeper ideological divisions over gender and gender issues. sexual orientation.

Two young men were shot dead and a woman was injured on October 12 as she sat at a table outside a gay bar on Zamocka Street in the capital Bratislava. The assailant escaped and committed suicide early the next morning.

  • An LGBTQI gathering in the predominantly Catholic country (Photo: Lucia Virostková)

Before his suicide, the teenager revealed what he had done and said he had no regrets on his Twitter account.

He also published his motivations in a 65-page manifesto, inspired by foreign extremist sites and social networks, expressing racist views and hatred against Jews, the LGBTI community and existing political institutions.

Several Slovak politicians, including Prime Minister Eduard Heger, were on his list of “high-value” targets.

Lost for the (good) words

The murder sparked a strong reaction among the Slovak public, with thousands of people taking part in marches against violence and in support of the LGBTI community.

But the country’s leading politicians have apparently struggled to communicate on the subject – in the face of a largely conservative and highly polarized population, under the relatively strong influence of the Catholic Church.

Heger, of the ruling conservative OLaNO (Ordinary People and Independent Persons) party, apologized himself under public pressure for his initial “choice of words” in a Facebook status in which he claimed that no one should be attacked for his lifestyle”.

“It is absolutely unacceptable in a free and democratic country for people to die or be attacked because of their sexual orientation, race, gender or religion,” the revised version said.

Heger also announced that the Justice Department had been tasked with preparing legislation to address practical life issues for the LGBTI community, such as property rights for same-sex couples.

Slovakia is one of six EU member states that offer no legal recognition to same-sex relationships, along with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

However, OLaNO leader and Finance Minister Igor Matovic ruled out approving a registered partnership as part of the move, stressing that it would go beyond the Slovak government’s manifesto.

In September, the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party left the ruling coalition. The three remaining centre-right parties in the minority government – ​​OLaNO, the We Are Family party and the For the People party are largely conservative.

Most opposition parties also express conservative views, including the social democratic party Smer-SD, a member of the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament.

“They know their voters and will not deviate from the attitudes that got them those votes,” Michal Cirner from the political theory department at Prešov University told EUobserver.

“Most of their supporters don’t want to see any major changes or gestures towards the LGBTI+ community – so expect minimal changes, without fanfare. There may be progress eventually as we live in the 21st century, but almost nothing crucial or provocative towards the conservative majority,” Cirner said.

Deeper still in the trenches

According to the 2019 Eurobarometer, 31% of Slovaks agreed that gay, lesbian and bisexual people should have the same rights as heterosexual people, the lowest proportion in the EU.

The Zamocka Street shooting could affect some of their perspectives on the subject, says sociologist Michal Vašečka, from the media faculty of the Pan-European University in Bratislava.

Liberal-minded Slovaks see the tragedy as proof that their country has failed to protect the rights of all its citizens and must act accordingly, while others were shocked by the intensity of the problem, Vašečka said.

On the conservative side, he added, some who agree with the protection of human rights but do not see LGBTI rights as part of the package have begun to actively defend their views – while the more radicalized and conspiratorial parts of the population seem even more united in targeting the queer community as their main enemy.

“Conservative groups tend to accuse liberals and generally the West of advancing what they call the sick agenda against human nature,” Vašečka noted.

“At the end of the day there is a pressure for everyone to take sides with one of the two broadest opinion camps, the trenches get deeper and things get dangerous because black and white opinions go from hatred to conflict… like never before in history.”

As a member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) established by the Council of Europe based in Strasbourg, Vašečka underlined that improving the situation of the LGBTI community had been one of the main recommendations to Slovakia – but too little or no effect.

“What might possibly work with some people is the economic point,” he said (adding that it’s his least favorite argument.)

“Not a small number of Slovaks leave their homeland because of the quality of life of the LGBTI community, and foreign companies think about the issue before deciding to come and invest in Slovakia,” Vašečka said.

EU law does not oblige member states to adopt the same rules on same-sex unions, but discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited.

But amid ideological debates after the shooting, a Slovakian regional court ruled that a same-sex couple, married in Argentina, should have been granted the same permanent residency that applies to married couples – throwing out a ruling of the Slovak Aliens Police as discriminatory.

Rome-based Catholic development entity unveils African countries selected for funding in 2023 Sat, 19 Nov 2022 04:45:43 +0000

Via Kenya Strathmore UniversityHAI will also provide teacher training in Liberia.

In addition, socio-sanitary care in rural areas will be offered by the Niger Foundation hospital and diagnostic center in Nigeria, HAI said, adding: “The total contribution required is 82,000 euros”.

Along with selected projects for which all committees are engaged, individual initiatives are to be carried out independently in each country where a Harambee committee is active, the Catholic development agency says, adding that monitoring and reporting will also continue for projects launched in 2022 and not yet completed.

“The fundraising campaign will be launched in January 2023 and more detailed information will be posted on the website soon,” reports HAI.

Created in 2002 and headquartered in Rome, HAI contributes to enhancing the potential of the different realities of sub-Saharan Africa by strengthening the capacities of local human resources and supporting African entities in the implementation of projects in the field of basic education, vocational training, academia and enterprise.

The Catholic development agency also expressed a desire to deepen knowledge about Africa in order to overcome stereotypes and contribute to a culture of coexistence and complementarity on the continent.

In his mission statementsays the agency, “A too often short-sighted view of Africa does not help us grasp the major changes underway where, despite some extreme criticalities, we have the highest expansion rates in the world.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Moi University Kenya. Agnès is currently a journalist for ACI Africa.

Lebanon risks ‘paralysis’ with president’s standoff, say Church leaders Wed, 16 Nov 2022 17:55:07 +0000

BEIRUT — With a presidential vacuum in Lebanon, the country’s Catholic religious leaders have urged parliament “to elect a president immediately.”

In a statement following their 55th annual general assembly from Nov. 7-11, the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon warned that “without a president, the state will plunge into total paralysis.”

Former President Michel Aoun’s six-year term expired on October 31.

The Lebanese parliament has met five times since the start of the electoral period at the end of August to try to elect a new president, but without success due to lack of consensus between the political parties. Another session was scheduled for November 17.

Under Lebanon’s power-sharing system, its president is a Maronite Catholic, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of parliament a Shia Muslim.

“There is no higher priority than…the election of a president, and we call on MPs to elect a president immediately,” the patriarchs and bishops said in their statement.

“Without a president, there can be no protection of the constitution, control of the regularity of the work of state institutions, separation of powers and exit from political, economic and financial paralysis,” the prelates said. .

“Without a president, the state will plunge into total paralysis.”

Lebanon is in the midst of a three-year economic collapse that has pushed nearly 80% of the population into poverty in what was considered a middle-class country. The currency devalued by more than 90%, inflation hit triple digits, unemployment soared and banks imposed restrictions on customer deposits.

Citing “the economic, social and life deprivation” that has led most Lebanese “to a state of poverty and destitution,” the prelates said they would help the people by providing “all possible assistance.”

Come aboard for the “20 Years of Fascism” tour Thu, 10 Nov 2022 18:04:54 +0000

Villa Mussolini, the former Villa Carpena, is located just beyond the Limits of the city of Predappio. Mussolini’s 1933 Freccia Oro motorcycle is on display in the garden. Inside there is the office where Mussolini worked; the uniform he wore in Milan on April 25, 1945, three days before he was shot by an Italian partisan; and the mirror in which, according to our guide, those sensitive to images of power and receptive to messages from beyond can glimpse the frozen reflection of Il Duce staring down at them.

An excommunicated Catholic priest, Father Giulio Maria Tam, presides over an open-air “mass” behind the Villa Mussolini. He mocks, among other things, homosexuals, immigrants and the Catholic Church with the enthusiastic approval of those present.Stefano Morelli

In the garden behind the villa, an excommunicated Catholic priest, Father Giulio Maria Tam, presides over what can only be called a fascist mass. Tam has been known to tell his audience that his “real tunic is a black shirt, size XXL”. This is a reference to the volunteer Blackshirts, or Camicie Nerewhich constituted the paramilitary wing of the Italian National Fascist Party.

To begin, Tam says, “Comrade, ready! and the congregation stamps their feet once in unison. “Comrade, watch out! he then said. They trample again. Tam continues to attack homosexuals, immigrants and even the pope. “You look at the state of the church right now,” he said, “look at how religion has been diminished. Pope Francis has reached his peak. Religion seems to be made of peace, mercy and good Samaritans. It’s the Red Cross, not the Catholic Church! So what does Mussolini say? History will prove me right. Those gathered do the fascist one-armed salute – banned in Italy – over and over again. Some are heard saying “Bravo”, “Well said” and “He’s right”.

The villa’s owner, Domenico Morosini, renovated the building and renamed it Villa Mussolini in the early 2000s, after buying it from one of Mussolini’s sons. Today, he says, visitors come “from France, Slovakia, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom. . . they come from everywhere.

Some of the items for sale in the Fascism Nostalgia shop inside the Villa Mussolini.Stefano Morelli

And their number is on the rise. According to data collected by the province of Forlì-Cesena, where Predappio is nestled among the green hills of the Emilia-Romagna region, the number of Italians who visited the village in 2015 more than tripled compared to the last year. During the same period, the number of foreign tourists has increased more than tenfold.

“I came to show my children the good side of history”, proudly says a shopkeeper from Veneto who had brought his 12 and 15 year olds. An Austrian doctor who came with his wife said: “If Mussolini came back, he would fix things in Europe.

Predappio Tricolore, one of three stores on Predappio’s main thoroughfare that sells fascist artifacts, despite a 1952 law banning the sale of such items.Stefano Morelli

Our next stop was Predappio Tricolore, one of three stores nostalgic for burgeoning fascism in the city center, which operate despite Italy’s 1952 Scelba law, banning the sale of propaganda and merchandise offering “apologies” for the regime. fascist. Law enforcement has been inconsistent at best. Perhaps nowhere more so than in Predappio.

Sangiovese wine on sale in the Predappio Tricolore boutique. The labels feature fascist logos, the unmistakable profile of the Italian dictator and fascist slogans such as ‘Italia agli Italiani’ or ‘Italy for Italians’ and a Mussolini favourite, ‘Me ne frego’ or ‘Je m’en crazy”. Damn.” Stefano Morelli

“I’ve had this license since 1983,” explains Pierluigi Pompignoli, the shop’s owner. “The souvenirs we have here of Mussolini are sold as the Pope is sold in Rome.” He points to specially wrapped Mussolini sugar packets. Merchandise also includes bronze busts of Il Duce, swastika clothing, commemorative batons and bottles of Castor oil, or castor oil, administered in large doses to Mussolini’s enemies. To this day in Italy, the expression “usere olive oilor “using castor oil” means forcing someone to do something against their will.

Elsewhere on the shelves are wine, beer and coffee mugs emblazoned with the strong-jawed profile of Mussolini or the mustachioed face of Adolf Hitler. Ladies’ thong underwear bears the fascist motto “Boia chi mollaor “Death to those who surrender”. A white cotton baby onesie features a child performing the one-armed fascist salute next to the words ‘Piccoli educhiamolior “Let’s educate them like children.” The store does a vibrant online business with customers all over the world.

Far-right supporters gather in Mussolini’s crypt on the centenary of his March on Rome, which delivered him to power and made him the youngest prime minister Italy has ever seen.Stefano Morelli
A visitor to Mussolini’s crypt gives the Fascist salute. Italian law prohibits the gesture.Stefano Morelli

Our final stop is Mussolini’s Crypt, reopened in 2019 for year-round visitation (the Mussolini family had it closed in 2017) by right-wing mayor Roberto Canali, backed by the Italian Brotherhood, whose election this that year ended more than 70 years of the left. wing rule in the village.

Canali said he wanted to promote the crypt as a tourist attraction to help boost the local economy, and it did indeed help. Fascist tourism is the only industry in this village. Revenues from tour tickets, souvenir sales, restaurants and hotel accommodation generate €20 million per year for the local economy.

The crypt, which would be the third most visited last residence in the world, behind those of Jim Morrison and Elvis Presley, welcomes a parade of nostalgics of fascism. They came to lay flowers and kiss the plaque bearing Mussolini’s name. Their ages span half a century. Few dress in a way that would identify their political leanings. They look like people who might live next door.

In front of Mussolini’s crypt in Predappio, this woman’s tattoo declares her sympathies. She is “always faithful” to the late Italian dictator, who died more than three quarters of a century ago.Stefano Morelli

It is their comments that reveal them:

“What this man did is inexplicable. Something no other man has been able to do. We are the ones who want him back. Long live the Duce.

“Mussolini is an example to follow.”

“Giorgia [Meloni] is one of us. Now you will see how things change.

“I believe in Trump.”

Francesco Bertolucci is a journalist based in Viareggio, Italy. His work appeared on Rai 5 and in Domani, La Nazione and Junge Welt. Follow him on Instagram @francesco.bertolucci.

Stefano Morelli is an Italian photographer and visual anthropologist. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian and publications in Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany and Qatar. Follow him on Instagram @stefanomorelliphoto.

Sun Will Enter A New Era For Cultural Center Theater With ‘Annie’ Mon, 07 Nov 2022 10:34:41 +0000

CANTON — More than a dozen children happily rehearsed the musical “Annie” in a nearly empty theater at the Cultural Center for the Arts on a recent weeknight.

Feet shuffled and stomped in choreographed numbers before the kids got down on their knees and pretended to scrub the floor. The buckets rang out in harmony as the youngsters joined in the classic song “It’s the Hard Knock Life”. About a week before opening night, the atmosphere was contagiously cheerful.

And it was also a time of closure for some of those involved in the production of “Annie,” which is presented by the New Direction Performing Arts Academy. The director, assistant directors and some of the actors had presented “Annie” when the stage was used by the Players Guild Theatre.