Thursday, September 14, 2017

more violence in the Congo coming?

AustinBay has another article on the unrest in the Congo due to the President there deciding not to obey the constitution and trying to stay in power.

Some observers argue the Kasai insurgency illustrates what could happen throughout the country if Kabila continues to illegally remain in office. Yes, another brutal civil war. Kabila maintains power because he controls the security forces and the government's patronage system. His presidential guard unit is the most powerful military unit in the country — with the major exception of the UN's MONUSCO peacekeeping force.
The Angolan government was once a staunch Kabila ally. Kasai's refugees and Kabila's failure to end the conflict have ended the alliance. Angola, Congo's largest and most populous neighbor, now calls Kabila an illegal president. Angola also possesses central Africa's most powerful national army.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Pope Francis: Obey me Minions

there are a lot of fault lines in church history, including if the bishops are devised from below or from above.

If you let the 'people' chose the bishops, it allows a coterie to push their own guy into power (as in the early church) but if you let the Pope/Vatican do it, you can get a person who the locals ( or the locals in charge) don't like. In places where bishops are powerful or governments are tyrannical, that can cause problems. Think of the power struggles of the Anglo Saxon vs the norman bishops who wanted to reform the locals. Hence the Philippines has it's own breakaway church from the Catholics, and of course in history a lot of the reason for Lutheran and Anglican churches had to do more with politics and nationalism than with dogma.

Since an isolated church can easily slide into heresy or nepotism, you can see the problem.

The church is not just spiritual, but has intitutions such as schools and hospitals, and in some places the priest/ minister is the most educated person around. This has changed in a lot of areas today, thanks to universal education and cheap books (and not the internet) but you still see how politics can rear it's ugly head in church matters.

Nor is it a Catholic problem, as we see as churches that are formed around a charismatic leader degenerates as the leader dies and his sons are not as holy as he was. Think Pastor Shuller in the USA or the InaCristo here in the Philippines.

To outsiders, it looks like trivia, but often it is a subtle thing that means a lot to those involved.

Pope Francis' tendency to push people around is not good: The pope is a pastor/shepherd, not a dictator, no matter what the Fundie protestants think.

And his love of power, not sensitivity to culture, is seen in this Vatican power play against a Nigerian diocese that doesn't want an outsider as their leader (even an outsider from the same tribe)...

according to the comments, he is from a different subtribe who speak a different dialect,

The Tribes have their own dialects and see themselves as unique entities from within. However we all see them as Igbo from outside.
The tribes include
-Onitsha
-Ika
-Nsukka
-Ezza
-Mbaise
-Abriba
-Ikwerre
-Oguta
Etc etc etc.
Their (Igbo) ethnology is one of the most interesting in Nigeria.
Sadly, they are misunderstood.

and the writer clarifies the problem in a second comment...
The diocese is rural and largely away from the city but it is dense in terms of the strength of numbers, both parishioners and priests. They’ve literally taken it upon themselves to train and build this diocese. They’ve also supported and trained many priests from around the country of different tribes. These priests number in the thousands. More than any rural diocese in Nigeria.
With this, there are about 1000 possible persons who qualify from the local diocese and probably up to 2000+ priests that qualify from the state.
This is based on their knowledge of the diocese, its peculiarities and difficulties.
Interestingly, out of these numbers from the diocese, not one has ever been made a Bishop anywhere. So the question is why??
Shockingly, it’s nepotism. The church Ij the east was first domiciled in the Anambra axis and even through others in the east have grown. The Anambra axis doesn’t recognize this fact and tends to through their influence dictate to others who may have slightly different views than they have. This to the local priest is unfair and a sort of denial on the part of the church of both the progress they’ve made and the sacrifices they continue to make.

Therefore, the nepotism claim or tribalism is reversed. Let me explain.
In Nigeria today, this Anambra archdiocese accounts for up to 15 Bishops. Many sent to other smaller dioceses. The argument here was that the Ahiara diocese isn’t a small diocese but has successfully run itself with its own priests and schools and hospitals for about 30years.
They therefore see this as a set back and the people I’ve spoken to see it as if the over 1000 priests they have trained and or sponsored are not good enough or are just plain evil people. This is not fair.
Like I said none of them has ever been sent to oversee their fellow priests anywhere in the universal Catholic Church.
Well, I think they should accept the decision since they’ve made their points for those who care to seek the facts. The question is wil their rural people understand why they or their leaders are not worthy of this honor??
I don’t know!!
 this is a local paper and the comment section is quite interesting.

essentially most of the bishops are all from the same diocese, and locals see this as a power play by this outside diocese to make their local church be seen as inferior to the big shot outsiders who want to run all the local churches.

Yup. Local politics is involved, but also a question if the church is universal or local: should the people have input into who leads them?

. More here.

Crux summary here.


Francis lays out his demands, accusing the recalcitrant priests of wanting “to destroy the church,” and saying he’d even considered suppressing the diocese. Instead, he’s demanding they all write to “clearly manifest total obedience to the pope,” including their willingness to accept the bishop he appoints. No matter how you slice it, it’s a dramatic show of papal muscle. Even Francis conceded, “this seems pretty harsh,” but said he was doing it “because the People of God is scandalized, and Jesus reminds us that whoever causes scandal has to face the consequences.
No, I didn't work in Nigeria so am not knowledgible about the ins and outs.

And does the holyman caste have anything to do with this?I don't know.

my work in Africa was in rural Zimbabwe with the Mashona, and in Monrovia Liberia. Yes I worked with Nigerians there but didn't get to know the culture. So I post this as an FYI.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

migrants? not exactly

GetReligion links to several news stories about Nigerian girls being trafficked as prostitutes to Italy, Europe, and Arab countries.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Zimbabwe

Mugabe is old and sick and his wife is hoping to take over when he dies.

In the meanwhile, Trump is cutting funds from groups that push abortion, so a lot of "Family planning" groups will lose money. Of course, they could stop pushing abortion, which in African traditional society is murder, but whatever. the article touts a group that pushed only birth control, and they are outsiders. what about doing this with immunizations, cheap protein supplements, and WHO rehydration fluid? Because only birth control gets the money.

In the meanwhile, Mugabe is being pushed into reforms according to one local paper.

actually, if you read the article they are just continuing Obama's policy.

Congo election update

StrategyPage has an update on what is going on there.

the peacekeepers are trying but only partially sucessful.


 The UN, western donor nations and African nations bordering Congo are concerned that another great Congolese civil war (1996-2003) will erupt if Kabila clings to power. They want to avoid that disaster in which three to five million people died. The high death toll includes people killed in the fighting and "excess mortality" related to the fighting, such as displaced people dying of exposure. A key part of the political settlement ending it was limiting the president to two terms in office. The fighting didn't completely stop in 2003. Bitter fighting continued, much of it ethnic-related. However, UN peacekeepers prevented another outright civil war. An estimated 200,000 more people died in the post-civil war combat and chaos that continued for over a decade (2003-2013). Again, that figure includes "excess mortality." The post-war death toll is debatable, but in 2013 there were still over two million internally displaced people in eastern Congo. (Austin Bay)

Sigh.  another day, another massacre.

In our prayers

A report  of using "witchcraft" to brainwash children into murdering in the Congo.

Congolese refugees told the authors of a UN report that they believed the Kamuina Nsapu militia had magical powers, and militia members believed their magic - including young girls drinking the blood of decapitated victims - would make them invincible."This generalised belief about the powers of Kamuina Nsapu and the fear it triggers among segments of the population in the Kasais may partly explain why a poorly-armed militia, composed to a large extent of children, has been able to resist offensives by a trained national army for over a year."

This dis not, alas limited to Africa: The murders of ISIS is witchcraft (even though they claim it is for Allah( and of course, the Mexican drug lords worship "Saint death", a demon, to get rich.

Death and love of money and egotism and desire of power and of course deception/lies are satanic.

As for the USA and western Europe: They are too civilized to do such things. They only promote killing babies in the womb to empower women, while looking the other way when doctors kill grandmom so their kids don't have to take care of them.

reminds me of when I was in Africa: Our German sisters lamented some of the terrible atrocities by the "freedom fighters" who would torture or beat their enemies to death.

I answered: Yes. The Germans did it more nicely: they just gathered up the Jews and disposed of them quietly.

and then there is the problem of male rape.

one of the reasons Africans are horrified with the west's push to legalize "gay" rights: it is seen as giving an okay to the rapist...

And this, too, is ignored by the west.

Hey, even the Pope said "who am I to judge" (which was interpreted as being pro gay rights)... well, considering all the pedophilia in the church, maybe this is why a lot of us are unhappy with his lack of judgement against sinners.

Except of course those who criticize him. I hear an editor of a Catholic media organization in Colombia was just excommunicated fir this. Priorities I guess...



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

US Special forces in Africa

StrategyPage summary.


May 22, 2017: Since 2007 the United States has created and expanded AFRICOM (Africa Command) to manage all the increasingly numerous American military operations in Africa. Since most of these operations involved special operations forces rather than conventional military forces AFRICOM released little detail on what was where. But in the last few years more of these details have emerged. As suspected most of the 40-50 AFRICOM “bases” detected are not bases in the traditional sense but merely temporary agreements to use existing civilian or military airbases or other facilities in African nations. These are usually countries where AFRICOM is providing assistance in dealing with Islamic terrorist activity or other security threats. 
this is similar to the work of the US in the Philippines: Often supplying information from sophisticated spying, and of course training of local forces.

There is a line, however, on who can be targeted: Going against the local NPA (communist insurgents) is a no no. But the terrorists, especially those with foreign ties, are okay.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mental heath treatment in Africa

Bookmarked for later reading.

Get religion discusses a Harper's piece on mental health problems and hospitals in Ghana (which alas is only readable if you are subscriber).

when I was in Africa, the joke was that all of our schizophrenics spoke English: Many had stress related psychoses from the culture changes.

But we also saw a lot of "conversion" reactions.

How many are demon related? Probably few. However, this is not a Pentecostal belief, because traditionally some people were affected by a spirit at puberty.

Conversion reactions will respond to suggestion and hypnosis, which is why prayer (or the traditional treatment by the local Nganga) works.

But there is also vitamin related problem, infection related problems, post concussion related problems, etc.

In the old days, if you had a spirit you might be revered, but if you were crazy, you would be beaten and thrown out on your own to live (reminds me of the man in the cemetary in the bible). Or you might be poisoned, either accidentally (by giving them herbal medicine to treat the problem.. we had lots of death from accidental poisoning to treat illness), or even deliberately.

This is what people did in the good old days to those who threatened them, before police and the court systems.

My friend in Africa had one of her nieces develop mental problems in puberty, perhaps from the stress of loving her dad to HIV and from school.

My friend cured her by taking her on a pilgrimage to the grave of John Bradburne, where she was healed, although she only lived a few more years. What did she die of? HIV? Infection? I have no idea.


Bradburne was gentle guy, a veteran with PTSS, who found God and who later worked at a leper colony and was martyred. Now, at least 30 of my collegues there were martyred, but the Africans only spontaneously saw him as a saint... I presume because the rest of us were bossy do gooders, and he only was known for his love.


Sunday, May 07, 2017

dictator vs bishop's peace plan in the Congo

StrategyPage has a summary what is going on there.

The local bishops tried to make a peace plan, but evil is still there.

. That was key element in the December Accord, the agreement mediated by Catholic bishops and reached on December 31, 2016. The agreement also specified that Kabila would not to alter the constitution and his government would free all political prisoners. The bishops belonged to the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), which gave the agreement its backing. Yet in March CENCO said that continuing negotiations with Kabila had collapsed. Why does Kabila want to hold on to power? One obvious reason: Corruption in the government Kabila controls has made his family and associates rich.
 
Free hit counters
Free hit counters