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教宗方濟各獲選今年美國《時代》雜誌年度風雲人物
《天下》雜志2013-12-12文/吳凱琳編譯

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今年美國《時代》雜誌的年度風雲人物,由羅馬天主教教宗方濟各獲選。他創下了許多第一:第一位來自拉丁美洲的教宗、第一位使用「方濟各」稱號的教宗、第一位耶穌會士擔任教宗。

他有些「另類」。在他之前的兩任教宗,若望保祿二世和本篤十六世都是神學教授,但教宗方濟各,擁有化學碩士學位,年輕時做過警衛、夜店保安人員、化學技師、以及文學教師。

他捨棄了教宗專屬的公寓住宅,選擇繼續待在之前來羅馬參與祕密會議時的招待所,直到現在;平時也不搭乘教宗專用的轎車,而是和其他主教、神父擠同一台箱型車。

曾有小朋友問他為什麼,教宗回答說,他需要跟大家生活在一起,每天跟主教與神父同伴們一起用餐與說話,才是他想要的生活;如果自己一個人孤單地與世隔絕,住在空盪盪的皇宮中,他很可能會發瘋。這番話引來全場哄堂大笑,並報以熱烈掌聲。

教宗方濟各絕對抓得住民心,但是他所要掌管的羅馬教廷,卻是秩序崩壞、官僚作風、醜聞不斷、背離窮人、派系對立,就像是蛀蟲已深、即將傾頹的深宮大宅,早該被拆除。然而他的上任,讓所有對羅馬教廷徹底失望的天主教信徒,又再度燃起了希望。

教會不是教廷傳聲筒,而是窮人的發言人。《時代》雜誌形容他是「人民的教宗」(The People's Pope)。他選擇「方濟各」作為稱號,便已清楚表明他對自己的歷史定位:效法十二世紀方濟各聖人的典範,與窮人站在同一邊;教會的目的不是為了扮演神學警察的角色,而是療癒人民的傷痛。在媒體上,你看到他進入監獄,為少女和穆斯林囚犯洗腳,擁抱臉上長滿神經纖維瘤以及臉部嚴重傷殘的信徒。

今年 9 月底,教宗方濟各接受耶穌會雜誌《天主教文明》(Civilta Cattolica)的編輯史帕魯達神父(Father Antonio Spadaro)採訪時表示,他認為教會必須貼近普羅大眾,而非空談理論,「我寧可教會受傷、變髒,因為這代表了它真正走上街頭,而不是自我侷限,固守在自我的安全防護網內。」教會不該只是羅馬教廷的傳聲筒,它應該是窮人的發言人。

因此,對於現今資本主義和全球化的過度發展,教宗頗不以為然,「上了年紀的遊民凍死不是新聞,股市跌 2 點才是新聞,怎麼會這樣?」他又繼續說道,「到現在還有人擁護利益均霑經濟學理論,認為自由市場可刺激經濟成長,帶來更多的正義與包容。但至今並沒有任何事實可證明這想法是對的。」他認為,教會必須盡力消除導致貧窮的結構性因素。

第一步勢必得先掃蕩教會內部的金錢腐敗。今年 10 月,一名德國主教因為作風高調,開高檔名車,還花費 12 億多台幣重新整修住家,引發教宗極大不滿,便強力要求這名主教離開教區,無限期停職接受教廷調查。

他大刀闊斧整頓梵蒂岡銀行,上任後不久便要求成立特別委員會,調查銀行帳目,並交由獨立公司進行稽核;他也建立了相關制度,防制洗錢以及有效監督梵蒂岡財政。今年 10 月,梵蒂岡銀行首度公布財報,這可是 125 年以來的第一次。

反對同性婚姻, 但不認為同性戀有罪,教宗方濟各上任以來幾次重要的發言,更是引發傳統衛道人士的不滿與不安。

他仍舊反對同性婚姻,但是他強調同性戀並不是罪,將那些有其他性傾向的人視為罪人,根本是錯誤的行為,「如果同性戀者心懷善意追尋上帝,我又有什麼資格去論斷他們?」

他希望所有人能以寬容的心去對待那些因為窮困或遭到性侵而被迫墮胎的女性,「面對如此痛苦的處境,又有誰會無動於衷?」對於離婚和再婚的天主教徒被禁止領聖餐禮,他批評領聖餐禮的目的「不應該是證明一個人的完美,而是要用來滋養弱者的身體」。

然而,教宗方濟各並非是激進的改革者,畢竟在關鍵性議題上,他仍舊選擇維護教廷既有的立場。但他想要呼籲的是,不同立場的雙方必須相互包容,否則只有敵對。如果教會拘泥於瑣碎的小節,將會令教會的道德高塔,如紙牌一般迅速倒塌。他認為,人們應放下彼此的歧見,共同解決更重要、更迫切的議題,例如貧窮。

至今,教宗方濟各上任不到一年時間,看似頗有一番新氣象。但教廷沉痾已深,包括教士性醜聞等陳年老問題能否徹底解決?他能否成功破除教廷內錯綜複雜的利益結構?仍有不少人抱持質疑的態度。但至少,目前已經有了好的開始。

這已經是《時代》雜誌第 3 次選出教宗為年度風雲人物,前兩次分別為 1962 年的羅馬教宗若望二十三世、1994 年的若望保祿二世。

 

 

中非基督徒和穆斯林之争激增種族滅絕恐懼
《今日基督教》 2013年12月12日報導

十月,中非共和國(CAR)的100多名基督徒領袖曾警告世界說, "種族滅絕宗教內戰" 的危險在中非日益增長。去年 12 月上旬,他們的 "班吉宣言" 似乎証實了這種恐懼--從首都班吉發出的消息稱:發生在班吉的穆斯林和基督教民兵之間的戰鬥使 400 至1,000 喪生。請參閱以下英文報導:

Surge in Christian-Muslim Strife Stirs Genocide Fears in Central African Republic

By Kate Tracy / Christianitytoday/12/12/2013

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/december/christian-muslim-genocide-central-african-republic-bangui.html

In October, more than 100 Christian leaders of the Central African Republic (CAR) warned the world of the increasing risk of a "genocidal interfaith civil war."

This past weekend seemed to confirm the fears found in their "Bangui Declaration" (copied below)—issued from the capital city of Bangui—as fighting between largely Muslim and Christian militias in Bangui killed between 400 and 1,000 people.

To stem the escalating conflict, the United Nations, led by France, has sent thousands of soldiers to the CAR, long known as "the worst crisis most people have never heard of." (CT previously traveled more than 600 miles through the CAR to report on the "messy business" of clean water.)

Since Islamist rebels seized powerin March, a new fault line has emerged: religion. Self-proclaimed president Michel Djotodia has ordered "Seleka" fighters, including mercenaries from neighboring Chad and Sudan, to disband. But renegades continue attacking Christian villages and churches—and Christian militias known as "anti-Balaka" are retaliating.

World Watch Monitor (WWM) has chronicled the recent unraveling of Christian-Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports:

While the anti-Balaka groups have been generally described as Christian militia, their actions have been condemned by the Church in CAR, which is calling for peace, the disarming of all armed groups and national reconciliation. Church leaders have also been working with imams in the tense months following the coup to bring reconciliation, and calling for a return to peaceful coexistence between the two religious communities.

Though the landlocked country has long been unstable, this is the first time large-scale religious conflict has torn apart the mostly Christian CAR, the BBC reports.

Djotodia is the first Muslim to rule the CAR. Ambassador Samantha Power, the U.S. representative to the United Nations, said, "We are deeply angered by the atrocities perpetrated by Séléka rebels against innocent civilians, including many children. We are also deeply alarmed by the prospect of CAR becoming a safe haven for violent extremists."

However, Thierry Vircoulon, Central Africa project director at the International Crisis Group, told allAfrica.com that while the situation was critical, the fear of genocide is overstated. And the Catholic archbishop of Bossangoa told Religion News Service (RNS) that the conflict is more about politics than religion itself.

WWM reports a statement released by the Catholic archbishop of Bangui:

The anti-Balaka is the expression of exasperation of part of the population against the numerous abuses committed by Séléka rebels. However, we reiterate that all anti-Balaka are not Christians and that all Christians are not anti-Balaka. It is the same for ex-Séléka and Muslims.

WWM also reported the Bangui Declaration in October was "signed by four representatives: Rev. Franco Mbaye-Bondoi, general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Central Africa; Rev. Nicolas Geurekoyame-Gbangou, president of the alliance; Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Catholic archbishop of Bangui; and by Abbot Cyriaque Gbate-Doumal, general secretary of the Episcopal Conference of RNS reports the conflict has resulted in 400,000 internally displaced persons and 64,000 refugees. Some 2,000 people journeyed to a Catholic mission in Bouca—a city in the northwest—for shelter in November.

CT has noted how Baptist leaders requested prayer shortly before rebels seized control of the CAR in March, as well as the arrest of the CAR's evangelical leader, Nicolas Guerekoyame, for remarks the pastor made during a sermon. CT also noted the rise of religion as a new fault line in the volatile nation.

 

 

 

美國一間Costco把《聖經》標簽為 "虛構小說" 類 引基督徒憤怒

《今日基督教》《Christianity Today》2013年11月22日報導

北美最大的零售店 Costco 把《聖經》標簽為 "虛構小說"(Fiction)上架,被美國一位牧師發現,引起眾基督徒的憤怒和抗議。Costco 馬上道歉,並換上新的標簽。這個給《聖經》錯誤標簽的事件,不是一時疏忽大意,其實反映了在美國,甚至北美,已經逐漸遠離《聖經》的教導了。請參閱以下的英文原文:

Another Day, Another Faux Christian Outrage: Costco's Fiction Bible

Caleb Kaltenbach, the pastor that took the viral photo of the fiction-labeled Bible at Costco, tells his story.

Nov 22, 2013 Christianity Today by Ed Stetzer
www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/november/another-day-another-faux-christian-outrage-costcos-fiction-.html

A pastor walks into a Costco.

He sees a Bible in the fiction section. He tweets a picture of it. It ends up on Drudge. Christians are outraged. Again.Only problem: there was no need to be.

Again, another day, another faux Christian controvery with its obligagtory outrage. (I can list more if we need our memories refreshed, but I don't want to become the Christian version of Snopes.)

Flames of outrage were fanned to get pageviews. Christians were willing to scream on social media of this persecution once again.


Yet, oops, the CEO of Costco is a devout Catholic, and the pastor who posted the picture is not outraged. Of course, the obligatory Facebook posts (one of many) are calling for a boycott. Sigh.

It was a labeling error, not a theological statement. It's like when the sticker for the corn was accidentally put on the beans. It's a no-big-deal clerical mistake.

 

If you got outraged over a labeling mistake, maybe it's time to take a moment and ask if that's the best approach. Maybe it's time to ask if you need to be more discerning, less gullible, and need some new sources of information beyond constantly-outraged websites and social media outlets.

Let me add, when Christians are constantly outraged by fake controversies, we look foolish and have no credibility to speak into real issues.

It turns out that the pastor involved follows me on Twitter, so I asked him to share some of the story.

Caleb worked hard to seize the moment and try to get people to ask what they thought about the Bible and Jesus. My hope is that some did, indeed, ask that question. It's just a shame that the "Christian outrage machine" was turned on once again, not by Caleb, but by others with a different agenda.

Here's some thoughts from Caleb Kaltenbach, the non-outraged and quite reasonable (and funny) pastor of Discovery Church. I'm thankful for him... and wish a lot of other Christians took a similar approach.

My wife and I had attended our small group on Tuesday night of last week. We finished up a marriage series, and I learned that I wasn't communicating in her love language—most guys can relate! She snapped a photo of a jacket she liked at Costco, and so last Friday I went there looking for it. On my way out of the store, I was browsing through some of their books. I noticed the Bible was being sold and had a label on it that said "Fiction." As I checked, I noticed that all Bibles were labeled in that fashion. I went to find someone in the store and inquire as to why it was labeled fiction. Unfortunately, I couldn't.

 

Here's where it began: I took a picture and posted it on my Twitter and Facebook. I snapped the photo because I thought it was interesting and somewhat amusing (I had never seen a Bible labeled fiction, but religion, inspiration, gift, etc).

Let me be clear on this: I was NOT angry, outraged, offended, stunned, shocked, upset, gained a shattered worldview, or __ (you fill in the blank). I put the pic on my social media feed to EVERYONE, not just my "flock." It was then a couple of days later that I was approached by the press about the photo.

I tried to answer media/journalist questions as best I could, and there were some quotes that were taken out of context.I did some of the TV interviews for a couple of reasons: first, to show that I was not outraged or upset with Costco. Second, I will take any chance I get to testify about Jesus or create conversation on the Bible. In every interview I tried to point the people back to Jesus. I specifically said each time, "I do not think that Costco did this intentionally. I don't believe there's an evil mastermind genius working at Costco to undermine the authority of Scripture." Unfortunately, people hijack and spin stories so they can get their own view on the matter across.

 

The response has been HUGE. I really don't think that this is about Costco as much as it is about God. Whenever you put the Bible in the spotlight, it will highlight people's love for His Word or their lack of faith in it. When people come face to face with the Bible, they are forced with decision...either it is true or it's not.We've certainly seen that over the past few days:

• The cultural fundamentalist Christians came out of the woodwork asking for boycotts!

• The political conservatives emerged pointing out the "liberal" policies of Costco.

• The compassionate Christians appeared and started asking questions like "how would Jesus have treated Costco?"

• The indifferent population came to surface and wanted to know what the big deal was?

• The hardcore atheists jumped all over Twitter using the event to poke fun at the Bible.

To me, most of the groups missed the main point of the issue: is the Bible fiction or is it true? There are some Christians who have to be mad at the next cultural event in our country. That's not me. I'm definitely conservative in my view of theology, but wouldn't consider myself a cultural conservative. As a matter of fact, our church, Discovery Church, prides itself on being a church for people who don't like church. We are very intentional in what we do in our worship services, community groups, family area experiences, and more to think of what "the unchurched" are thinking.

Because of our focus on being a church for people who don't like church—I think that the indifferent population that wanted to know what the big deal was came the closest to the kind of conversations that should have been spurred on by this situation.My sincerest hope is that many conversations will be had about the Bible and that people will start to consider the evidences for the reliability of Scripture. Maybe people will ask tough questions of Jesus and who He was. That would be a great win!

It was never my intention to crusade against Costco or their CEO (who is a devout Catholic). I'm not on the cultural warfare path by any means. I believe that if this story gets summed up by label stickers then the opportunity was missed and a shadow has been cast over the Gospel. If however, we can have good conversation and get some people thinking about God, then there just might be a party in heaven soon (Lk. 15:7).

Costco apologized for an error that was not theirs (and good for them for doing that). Now, I wonder if many Christians on social media will apologize to Costco.

 

 

克羅地亞公投,六成五人反對同性婚姻
2013年12月6日 時代論壇
http://christiantimes.org.hk/Common/Reader/News/ShowNews.jsp?Nid=81058&Pid=5&Version=0&Cid=220&Charset=big5_hkscs

大多數克羅地亞人在十二月一日全民公投中投票禁止同性婚姻。該次公投的問題是「你可同意婚姻是一個男人和一個女人之間的婚盟?」克羅地亞國家選舉委員會指出,65% 市民投了贊成票,大約34% 投下反對票。該結果意味著克羅地亞的憲法將被修改為禁止同性婚姻。

公投由「為了家庭的緣故」這保守團體發起。事緣克羅地亞的中間偏左政府不久前起草了一項法律,允許同性伴侶登記為「生活伴侶」。天主教教會領袖呼籲追隨者在公投中投「贊成」票。「婚姻是唯一容讓生育有可能生發的聯合。」克羅地亞紅衣主教布辛力(Josip B ozanic)在向信徒指出,「這是婚姻和其他聯合形式之間的主要區別。」

克羅地亞的自由派總統約西波維奇(Ivo Josipovic)也表明反對修改憲法,他認為,公投的結果必須被尊重,但他補充,政府正在籌劃一項法例,允許同性戀者擁有一些權利生活在一起,「公投結果必定不能成為新的分裂的原因。我們正面對嚴重的經濟和社會問題。現在不值得關注此類問題。」

外界分析指,公投結果反映面對日益加深的經濟危機和普遍失業情況,右翼和保守勢力在克羅地亞正不斷發展壯大。

克羅地亞人口約四百四十萬,在今年七月成為歐盟的第廿八名成員,近年已採取措施改善同性戀者的權利。近九成克羅地亞人是羅馬天主教徒。

 

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