Author: Shirley Aaron

Breaking! Former US First Lady Barbara Bush Dies At 92

Breaking! Former US First Lady Barbara Bush Dies At 92

Barbara Bush

The Matriarch of a Republican political dynasty and a first lady who elevated the cause of literacy, Barbara Bush, died Tuesday, according to a statement from her husband’s office. She was 92.

Only the second woman in American history to have had a husband and a son elected President (Abigail Adams was the first), Bush was seen as a plainspoken public figure who was instantly recognizable with her signature white hair and pearl necklaces and earrings. She became a major political figure as her husband, George H.W. Bush, rose to become vice president and president. After they left the White House, she was a potent spokeswoman for two of her sons — George W. and Jeb — as they campaigned for office.

Barbara and husband George Bush, with little George Bush Jr.


The mother of six children — one of whom, a daughter, Robin, died as a child from leukemia — Barbara Bush raised her fast-growing family in the 1950s and ’60s amid the post-war boom of Texas and the whirl of politics that consumed her husband.
She was at his side during his nearly 30-year political career. He was a US representative for Texas, UN ambassador, Republican Party chairman, ambassador to China and CIA director. He then became Ronald Reagan’s vice president for two terms and won election to the White House in 1988. He left office in 1993 after losing a re-election bid to Bill Clinton.

Quick-witted with a sharp tongue, the feisty Barbara Bush was a fierce defender of her husband and an astute adviser.

As first lady, her principal persona as a devoted wife and mother contrasted in many ways with her peer and predecessor, Nancy Reagan, and her younger successor, Hillary Clinton, both of whom were seen as more intimately involved in their husbands’ presidencies.

Still, Barbara Bush promoted women’s rights, and her strong personal views sometimes surfaced publicly and raised eyebrows — especially when they clashed with Republican Party politics. For instance, she once said as her husband ran for president that abortion should not be politicized.

She also was not shy about the possibility of a female president, disarming a Wellesley College audience at a 1990 appearance protested by some on campus who questioned her credentials to address female graduates aiming for the workplace.

“Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse.

“I wish him well,” she said.

Childhood and family life

Barbara Pierce was born June 8, 1925, in New York and raised in the upscale town of Rye. She attended a prestigious boarding school in South Carolina, where she met her future husband at a school dance when she was only 16 and he was a year older. A year and a half and countless love letters later, the two were engaged just before George Bush enlisted in the Navy and went off to fight in World War II.

Bush, who was the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy at the time, would return home a war hero, after being shot down by the Japanese. He had flown 58 combat missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery. By that time, Barbara had dropped out of Smith College and the pair were married in January 1945.

They raised their family mainly in Texas, where George H.W. Bush, the son of a US senator, was in the oil business and later entered politics.

Barbara Bush’s dedication to keeping order at home earned her the nickname “the enforcer.”

“We were rambunctious a lot, pretty independent-minded kids, and, you know, she had her hands. Dad, of course, was available, but he was a busy guy. And he was on the road a lot in his businesses and obviously on the road a lot when he was campaigning. And so Mother was there to maintain order and discipline. She was the sergeant,” George W. Bush told CNN in 2016.

With her husband as vice president in the 1980s, Bush adopted literacy as a cause, raising awareness and eventually launching the nonprofit Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. After George H.W. Bush’s presidency, he and Barbara raised more than $1 billion for literacy and cancer charities.

“I chose literacy because I honestly believe that if more people could read, write, and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation and our society,” she said.

A writer, her books include an autobiography and one about post-White House life. Her children’s book about their dog, Millie, and her puppies written during her White House years was, as were her other books, a bestseller.

On the campaign trail

In 2001, when George W. Bush took office, Barbara Bush became the only woman in American history to live to see her husband and son elected president.

She campaigned for son George W. and fiercely defended him from critics after he became president.

Asked in a 2013 interview about the prospect that her younger son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, might mount a White House campaign in 2016, Bush quipped in her dry fashion, “We’ve had enough Bushes.”

But when Jeb decided to run, she changed her mind and campaigned for him, appearing in a video for Jeb Bush’s ultimately unsuccessful campaign, saying, “I think he’ll be a great president.”

She also was outspoken about Donald Trump. In one of her last interviews, the former first lady said in early 2016 she was “sick” of Trump, who belittled her son repeatedly during the 2016 GOP primary campaign, adding that she doesn’t “understand why people are for him.”

“I’m a woman,” she added. “I’m not crazy about what he says about women.”

Most recently, Bush published a note in the spring edition of Smith College’s alumnae magazine, where she declared: “I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago.”

The college awarded Bush an honorary degree in 1989.

Bush battled health problems for much of her later life. She was diagnosed in 1988 with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that commonly affects the thyroid. She had open-heart surgery in 2009 and in 2008 underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer.

In her final years, she was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, better known as COPD, as well as congestive heart failure. But, along with her husband, she kept an active public schedule, raising money for charity.

Bush is survived by her husband, George H.W.; sons George W., Neil, Marvin and Jeb; daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch; and 17 grandchildren.

Rest In Peace, Barbara! 


Source:

(CNN)


Satan Speaks: ‘I Am The Prince Of This World, I Am Satan’ – Exorcist Claims

Satan Speaks: ‘I Am The Prince Of This World, I Am Satan’ – Exorcist Claims

..Exorcist Claims “The power of casting out demons was one of the signs that Christianity was a true religion.”

In one particular case cited by the priest the devil spoke to him directly. The possessed person “said, ‘I am the prince of this world, I am Satan’, and the hairs on my arms went up. When you listen to a satanic growl, once you listen to the devil’s voice, you can recognise it,” he said.

 

A Catholic priest who has been performing exorcisms for 10 years says that demand for exorcists is on the rise as more and more pastors become convinced that the devil is real and needs to be fought.

“Christ was the first exorcist,” says Father César Truqui, a Mexican priest based in Switzerland. “The power of casting out demons was one of the signs that Christianity was a true religion.”

While the majority of people who come to him for help are dealing with psychological or physical problems rather than diabolical activity, Truqui said in a recent interview, a small percentage undeniably face true demonic “vexation.”

The presence of the devil becomes apparent, the priest said, when a person does what is humanly impossible, such as performing feats of superhuman strength or suddenly speaking in Hebrew or Aramaic despite never having studied the languages.

Other times their voice changes and they growl or speak in tongues, he said, while some reveal knowledge of “secret things,” such as what a person who is not present is doing or wearing. People who are possessed can be overwhelmed by feelings of discomfort when they are in places of worship, he said.

In one particular case cited by the priest the devil spoke to him directly. The possessed person “said, ‘I am the prince of this world, I am Satan’, and the hairs on my arms went up. When you listen to a satanic growl, once you listen to the devil’s voice, you can recognise it,” he said.

Father Truqui worked for four years as assistant to the late Father Gabriele Amorth, one of the most famous exorcists of the last century, who reportedly performed some 100,000 exorcisms during his years of ministry.

Beginning this Monday, the priest will help teach a course in Rome on exorcism for priests and laypeople who want to learn more about demonic activity and how to combat it. The annual course offered by the Sacerdos Institute, titled “Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation,” is now in its 13th year and draws upwards of a hundred students each year.

The course is held at the Regina Apostolorum University in Rome and features speakers including Vatican officials, exorcists, psychologists, physicians and other experts.

The university is a pioneer in this subject, having been the first institution to offer such a program back in 2006. Its exorcism course draws students from diverse backgrounds, including priests, religious sisters, pastoral workers, teachers and doctors.

As Breitbart News reported last month, the demand for exorcists in Italy has tripled in recent years, reaching nearly a half million requests per year.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Sicilian exorcist Father Benigno Palilla said that more and more Italians are engaging in occult activities, which often serve as a gateway to the demonic.

Some 25 percent of Italy’s adult population regularly visits astrologers, psychics, and tarot card readers, and it is precisely these sorts of activities, Father Palilla said, that “open the door to the devil and to possession.”

Citing experts in the field, Vatican Radio said that the diabolical phenomenon has been “rising sharply.”

In a new teaching letter released this week, Pope Francis said that the “malign power” of Satan is always in our midst and “poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice.”

Satan is not “a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,” Francis wrote in his letter called Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and Be Glad”), and falling into this error “would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”

“When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities,” he said. “Like a roaring lion, he prowls around, looking for someone to devour,” he added, quoting from the New Testament first letter of Peter.

Acknowledging the existence of the devil is essential, the pontiff said, because the spiritual warfare Christians fight is not merely “a battle against the world and a worldly mentality” or a “struggle against our human weaknesses and proclivities.”

“It is also a constant struggle against the devil, the prince of evil,” he said.

Why Does The Pope Wear Red Shoes?

Why Does The Pope Wear Red Shoes?

The papal shoes were the red leather outdoor shoes worn by the Pope. They should not be confused with the indoor Papal Slippers or the Episcopal sandals, which are the liturgical footwear proper to all ordained Catholic bishops of the Latin Rite.

…and why Pope Francis decided not to wear them.

Perhaps many recall Pope John Paul II with his red shoes, or wonder why Pope Francis doesn’t wear them. But did you know that these shoes are as ancient as the Church itself? Or that they have a highly significant meaning?

Before starting with history, we have to clarify that most popes wore three types of shoes: red silk shoes for inside the Vatican, episcopal sandals to celebrate Mass (until 1969) according to the liturgical colors, and red leather shoes for outside. It is the latter shoes that we’re talking about today.


Red shoes are associated with power, and not only within the Church. Pre-Roman Etruscan kings wore them as a symbol of status, because the red (which they called “royal purple”) was a costly dye obtained from rare sea snails. The Roman emperors continued with the tradition of red shoes indicating high status. The great aristocrats also wore them.


Churchmen wore them, too. Red was used not only for the pope’s shoes but for his entire vestment, although this changed to white with Pope Pius V in the mid-16th century, as he was a Dominican. Red symbolized both the worldly authority of the pope and the Passion of Christ. It also symbolized the Pope’s submission to Christ, the love of God for humanity, and the remembrance of all the martyrs who gave their lives for Christ.


Let’s take a closer look at the outdoor shoes. They are made of red leather (most of them come from Morocco) and they used to have a gold-embroidered cross. After 1958, Pope John XXIII added golden horseshoes that made them more closely resemble the shoes that bishops wore outside of Rome.

Pope Paul VI asked for the elaborate cross to be removed, and did away with the custom of kissing the pontiff’s feet. He also removed the buckles from all ecclesiastical shoes and decided not to use the silk slippers inside the Vatican.


However, the popes who succeeded him did return to the red shoes, and some were even buried with them: Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, for example. For quite some time, John Paul II set aside the bright red in favor of a more burgundy tone with a simpler look; however, Pope Benedict XVI returned to the bright red shoes made by his own shoemaker, Adriano Stefanelli.


Pope Francis chose to wear the red only indoors and opted for the black outdoor shoes he has always worn — and with which he arrived to the Vatican — as a sign of humility and austerity. They are made by the shoemaker he has used for more than 40 years, Carlos Samaria.

Meanwhile, the papal mozzetta and cape are the few pieces of the papal vestments that are still red, a symbol of the upcoming celebration of Pentecost.

Is Watching Porn The Devil’s Work? Exorcism Course To Open Dialogue On Demonic Influence In Pornography

Is Watching Porn The Devil’s Work? Exorcism Course To Open Dialogue On Demonic Influence In Pornography


Priests attending an annual exorcism conference in Rome are set to discuss whether pornography has a demonic influence.

Over 250 priests and theologians as well as criminologists and psychologists from 51 countries have gathered at the week-long Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation conference, held at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum Catholic University in Rome.

“Human sexuality in itself is a value, but when you use it poorly, you are creating harm for yourself and others, especially if it involves children,” Fr. Pedro Barrajon LC told journalists April 16.

Speaking of the widespread use of pornography in modern society, he said he believed organizers of the course wanted to discuss not to ignore the role of personal responsibility, but to explore whether there is demonic influence in pornography use, and to what extent.

The same goes for drug addiction, cultism and satanic worship, and it also goes for pedophilia and child pornography, which will both be addressed on the last full day of the course, he said.

“Does it come only from human causes – psychological, familial, social or cultural – or is there more?” he said, adding that the course aims to “open a space to see if there is a possibility to show influence from the devil.”

Barrajon spoke to journalists on the first day of the 13th annual course on exorcism and liberation prayer, offered by the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University (APRA) and the Group of Socio-Religious Research and Information (GRIS).

Taking place April 16-21, the course will explore the topic of exorcism and prayers of liberation from different points of view, including theological, anthropological, canonical, liturgical, psychological, social and criminal perspectives.

Among other things, it will touch on magic, cults and satanic worship, and how to tell the difference between possession and psychological illness. This year’s course will also explore the rising practice of witchcraft in Africa, the increase of New Age beliefs in Spain, and the presence of cults throughout Latin America.

The course will also feature testimonies from exorcists and people who have been liberated from demonic possession. The last day will largely focus on the criminal aspects of exorcism and demonic activity, specifically pedophilia and pornography, as well as discernment and the writings of the Desert Fathers.

In his introduction speech, Fr. Jose Enrique Oyarzun, LC, a professor at the Regina Apostolorum University, said there is often “great confusion” regarding the devil, with many people believing that he does not exist.

This is a dangerous mistake, he warned, quoting Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, which says, “it is precisely the conviction that this malign power is present in our midst that enables us to understand how evil can at times have so much destructive force.”

Continuing to quote the document, Oyarzun said the devil “is present in the very first pages of the Scriptures, which end with God’s victory over the devil,” and is also present in the prayer of the Our Father, which ends with the phrase “deliver us from evil.”

“That final word does not refer to evil in the abstract; a more exact translation would be ‘the evil one.’ It indicates a personal being who assails us,” he said, and concluding the quote, said, “we should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”

In comments to journalists, Professor Giuseppe Ferrari, who moderated the opening panel of the course, lamented the fact that many Catholics, and even some priests, are among those who don’t believe in the devil. This is very problematic, he said, because when one stops believing in the devil, “one risks believing in anything, in the foolish things of this world.”

In his comments to journalists, Barrajon noted that there have been reports of an increased number of exorcisms in recent years, but cautioned against placing too much weight on these reports, because so far, “there is no serious statistical study on the practice of exorcism.”

Some countries, such as Italy, have had a higher number of exorcisms in part because bishops are appointing more exorcists, and also because communication about who the exorcists are and how to reach them has gotten better, he said.

He also stressed the importance of knowing how to discern whether someone is truly possessed, or whether they have some sort of psychiatric or psychological illness.

“For what I’ve seen, the experience of the exorcist counts a lot,” he said, explaining that many experienced exorcists can tell immediately if a person is experiencing demonic possession or a psychological problem.

Some indications of possession include negative reactions to religious objects or images, an unnaturally deep voice, and body contortions. The spitting out of nails, glass and knives that is seen in the movies can also happen during exorcisms, he said, and is a “physical manifestation of evil.”

In a keynote Q&A during the opening session, Albanian Cardinal Ernest Simoni, a leading exorcist in his diocese before his arrest by the communist regime in the 1960s, suggested that demonic possession is more common than many people realize.

The cardinal also cautioned that cultural mentalities such as materialism and consumerism “destroy life.” He said that to stay close to Christ and avoid the devil, one must “pray endlessly, pray without interruption.”

In addition to regular Mass attendance, he said, “we have to be chaste, we have to be faithful, we have to comply with the rules and guidelines of our tradition…unless you become like chaste, pure children, you won’t be able to access the reign of God.”

The ultimate answer “is not what I do or what I think,” he said, but “it is Jesus who lives in us…infinite love is what we need.”

“Whenever you are ready, whenever you are really, really ready to repent, you will be redeemed. It doesn’t matter if you say it 7 or 77 times in a day,” he said, but “you have to be convinced, you have to be united with your prayer.”

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