Tuesday, August 16, 2011

34 Years...

More Bad News from Zimbabwe

From Ecumenical News International...

In Zimbabwe, renegade bishop's backers evict Anglican priest

Harare, Zimbabwe (ENInews)--Supporters of renegade Zimbabwean Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga have forced a priest and his family out of their home following a court ruling giving Kunonga control over church assets, a church spokesman said on 16 August. Kunonga recently was given control over church assets in a High Court ruling. [447 words, ENI-11-0430]

Then from the BBC...

Solomon Mujuru, who has died in a fire on his farm, was one of Zimbabwe's most powerful, wealthiest and feared politicians.
As a former army chief he was nicknamed Zimbabwe's "king-maker" - and managed to combine power with relative anonymity.
There are very few photos of him around.
"He had all the mystique of a liberation war hero that has served him to present-day politics," Patrick Smith, editor of the London-based Africa Confidential magazine, told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.
"He didn't want to be president but he was incredibly influential in determining the jockeying for power within the hierarchy of the ruling party."
Knox Chitiyo, an analyst with the London-based think-tank Royal United Services Institute who knew Gen Mujuru personally, said he was someone "who couldn't be pushed around".
"He was very, very respected particularly among the military in Zimbabwe and among the liberation war veterans. His liberation war credentials were pretty impeccable," he told the BBC.
Gen Mujuru wife, Joice Mujuru, is one of Zimbabwe's vice-presidents - the first woman to hold such a high-ranking post in Zimbabwe.
Under his nom de guerre, Rex Nhongo, Mr Mujuru was the director of Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces, together with the late Josiah Tongogora, during the 1970s war of independence, which ended white minority rule.
He is also said to have played a key role in Mr Mugabe's rise to the top of the Zanu party.
'Fragmentation of Zanu-PF'
He was also elected MP for the north-eastern Chikomba constituency, before leaving public life in 1995 to concentrate on his business interests.
According to Mr Smith, his influence, despite not holding a political post, testifies to the strength of the military tradition in Zanu-PF politics.
Some believe his death will be a blow to the party.
John Makumbe, political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe, says Mr Mugabe "used to rely on him on what to do and what not to do".
"The nation has lost a pillar and there is likely to be more fragmentation in Zanu-PF," he told the AFP new agency.
The Mujurus are from the same Zezuru branch of Zimbabwe's majority Shona group as Mr Mugabe.

Start Quote

The demise of Mujuru would appear to give some advantage to the Mnangagwa faction”
Patrick SmithEditor Africa Confidential
But despite his long and close ties to Mr Mugabe, there were reports two years ago that he may have fallen from grace after apparently meeting top US and UK diplomats in Harare.
Mr Mugabe has always portrayed himself as still fighting the colonial struggle - against the West.
But Gen Mujuru's death now brings into question who will succeed the 87-year-old president within the party.
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is seen as a possible Zanu-PF successor - and there has always been fierce rivalry between him and the Mujurus.
"The demise of Mujuru would appear to give some advantage to the Mnangagwa faction," Mr Smith said.
"Until now she [Joice Mujuru] has been a beneficiary of her husband's influence in the party, army and security services. Now she'll have to put herself forward much more strongly," he said.
The Mujurus met during the war of independence and married in 1977.
She adopted the name Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood), during the struggle and claims to have shot down a Rhodesian helicopter with the machine-gun of a dying comrade and was later promoted to commander.
The Mujurus are accused of taking over at least one of the farms seized from their white owners in recent years.
Guy Watson-Smith owned 3,500-acre Alamein farm, about 80km (50 miles) south of the capital, Harare, where Gen Mujuru died in the early hours of Tuesday 16 August.
Mr Watson-Smith said the infrastructure alone was worth some $2.5m (£1.5m).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's that day in the church year, when we recognize Saint Lawrence. A friend sent me the following very bad joke.

What did Jesus say to Saint Lawrence, who was grilled to death, when he got to heaven?

"Well done, good and faithful servant."

In response to such bad taste, I did a (very) little snooping, and found a nifty website connected with the cookbook, A Continual Feast. Here's it's stuff on Saint Lawrence.  Enjoy!


A Continual Feast describes the martyrdom of St. Lawrence, a Roman deacon during the third century Christian persecution.Ordered by the Roman prefect to surrender the treasures of the church, he assembled the poor and took them to the prefect, saying, “Here is the church’s treasure.” According to legend he was put to death by being roasted on a grill. He is said to have remarked to his torturers: “One side is done now; you can turn me over.” Traditionally, in some places nothing hot is served at all, in compassion for his martyrdom; it is a day for cold soups and salads. (ACF p. 262.) We decided that serving barbecued chicken is a great way to signify his triumph over the fire...after all, St. Lawrence is now one of the patron saints of cooks!

Basic Barbecue Sauce
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup yellow mustard (for tang)
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup A1 Steak Sauce
* You can modify the amount of any ingredient to fit your taste preference. If you like it bolder, add some more A1. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar. We have even substituted 2 Tablespoons of honey for the brown sugar.
* This sauce tastes great on pork, chicken, and beef. Marinate the raw meat prior to grilling and then baste with the sauce throughout the cooking process. These instant marinaters are great.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Changing Face of German Catholicism

I read somewhere that something like .5% of the German populace attend church on any given Sunday.  The following statistics, from Ecumenical News International (www.eni.ch) would suggest the accuracy of such a claim.


More Catholic departures than baptisms for first time in Germany

Berlin (ENI). For the first time since membership records have been kept, more Germans departed the Roman Catholic Church than were baptized into it in 2010, according to new data from Germany's Catholic Conference of Bishops. The new statistics, which were released with little analysis or comment, showed 170,339 baptisms for the year, and 181,193 departures from the church. However, 3,576 new members, and more than 7,400 returning Catholics, joined the church last year. [114 words, ENI-11-0405]