The Boko Haram Menace Continues: Kidnaps 100 Children and Women and Kills 30 People

Boko Haram menace: Kills 32 people, kidnaps over 100 children and women

Recently, Boko Haram terrorists killed 30 people and kidnapped over 180 children and women in Northeastern Nigeria in a planned raid, said local residents and officials. They arrived in many pick up tracks and attacked the remote village in a place called Gumsuri on Sunday and show down men who were working and grouped children and women and killed them. ‘’They then gathered the children and women and carried them in their trucks and burned their homes with bombs’’ said a government official who asked for anonymity for his safety. Due to lack of proper communication, the news of this hostile attack surfaced after four days. Boko Haram had disabled telecommunication towers before they attacked. In fact, local government officials only received news of the attack from locals who had fled for their dear life to Borno state where most officials had migrated to for fear of being attacked.

According to witness reports, the insurgents stormed their homes from two main directions, overwhelming the local vigilantes that worked tirelessly in vain to repel Boko Haram to other areas, said Umar, a Gumisuri agent. He says he walked for four good days to save his dear life. ‘’They burned down our village and kidnapped our women and children, ‘’ said Ari. Another witness claims that the militants used heavy guns to kill the residents and used gasoline canisters to torch down their houses.

 

We lost our loved ones in the horrific attack. I did not manage to escape with my valuables except the clothes I am wearing, said Kalli. Thousands of residents fled to Gumsuri and continue to travel to Maiduguri – a place struggling to accommodate the large number of residents fleeing from the chaos since their homes have been destroyed. In

In other news, the Cameroonian army says that they managed to kill more than 100 Boko Haram insurgents in a boarder in northeastern on Wednesday. This happened when the insurgents tried to invade Amchide, a busy town in Cameroon, said Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck. They managed to gun down one soldier and another is still missing after they managed to evade the attack, according to statements made by Badjeck. The insurgents managed to steal a truck and destroyed two military trucks, said Badjeck. According to Badjeck, the military caused unspecified harm to the insurgents that manned the northeastern Nigeria boarder. ‘’Our men meticulously fought away the insurgents and forced them to retreat, said the Cameroonian state official spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

“The group has only one clear objective; to ensure they spread uncertainty and fear among the population. But you can trust us that we shall do our best to eliminate their stronghold till they are crushed down.” said Bakary. According to official reports, the Cameroonian government officials clashed with Boko Haram in Limani, Cameroon two months ago. Five Cameroonian forces and over 100 Boko Haram insurgents were killed in the deadly clash, the Cameroon State broadcaster reported.

Campaign of fear and uncertainty

The insurgents have been terrorizing northern Nigeria since early 2009, attacking churches, civilians, police, government buildings and even the police. This month along, a female insurgent killed 6 people in Maiduguri and last month, suicide bombers killed more than 200 people. They attacked a mosque and killed many civilians who were worshipping. The insurgents basically targeted mainstream Islam followers, saying that they don’t represent the 80 million Muslim population in Nigeria. They say that mainstream Islam perverts the religion, said an official who asked for anonymity to protect his identity.

In April this year, the insurgents drew international criticism after they kidnapped schoolchildren, mostly girls who where then sold into inhuman slavery. The insurgents have killed at least 4,000 people since they started killing innocent women and children. This is a report according to a U.S. based congressional report, hence makes it the world’s most wanted terrorist organization. Many people wonder why the insurgent attack mosques and yet they claim that they are religious fighters. The insurgents attacked many establishments, accusing them of perverting the religion and not defending their interests. A prominent member of one establishment is a former governor, who often preaches at the mosque on the weekends. The governor was outside the country when the mosque was attacked by the insurgents, but earlier on he had urged the people of Nigeria to fight of the insurgent in any way they can.

 

SINGAPOREANS’ TOP PICKS

Picking a college is something very crucial in preparing one’s future, but picking a company to work in is a whole new level of preparation for the rest of a person’s life. Singapore is one of the most competitive and successful countries in Southeast Asia. When it comes to business, Singaporeans are very well known for their ‘think globally’ attitude. By the same vein, ordinary Singaporean workers are also big fans of observing an international type of approach when dealing with their tasks at work. They are not limited by thinking solely of the money that they could potentially earn from the company of their choice. What they value more is their top pick’s reputation. In so many levels, it makes a lot of sense; for who would ever want to be associated with an incredibly wealthy company with a bad reputation?

According to Job Street’s recent poll, the top five companies Singapore graduates and workers would like to work in are the following: Google, Shell, Singapore Airlines, Exxon Mobil, and Keppel Corp. These companies were not chosen by the poll’s participants just because of the high salaries they offer but mainly because of their excellent reputation.

Google has always been known for being an incredible employer. It is a legend for the extraordinary perks it offers and its high pay. In fact, among all the surveys that have surfaced on the internet over the years, it remains number one. According to one of Google’s employees, Google also has its issues, but the issues are things that are related to the fact that there are too many geniuses and extremely talented workers in Google that it is sometimes hard for an ordinary employee to distinguish himself. In addition, although employees are not required to work all the time, there is a lot of pressure on the shoulders of its employees who would like to contribute something new for the entire company. Ultimately, for several Google employees who have been working in the company for many years, their job at the said company is the job they would like to have as their last occupation for the rest of their lives.

Singapore is widely famous for its 1.9% unemployment rate, and by next year, it is to be expected that Singapore’s workforce development will undergo great transformations in order for several Singaporean companies to reach new heights. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, with the aid of the Skills Future Council members, aims to develop a more integrated system of education and training in order to improve the career progression in Singapore. The officials involved in the said planning firmly believe that the planned manpower development will affect several sectors’ manpower strategy and the country’s overall economic development in the years to come. In addition to this, internships will also be given much attention by 2015. Hence, better coordination is more likely to take place among interns and companies.

Because of the aforementioned developments that will take place in Singapore by next year, those who find it hard to survive in their own country are considering going to Singapore to work since it allows foreign workers to enjoy the same benefits Singapore citizens do without having the need to attend two years of mandatory service in the army. Moreover, Singapore is an expensive city-state known for having a rich culture which is easily to adjust to – a fact which is highly appealing to people seeking for solid ongoing jobs overseas.

 

 

UNIQLO LAUNCHES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM FOR JAPANESE STUDENTS

It does not matter what your nationality and ethnic group is, Uniqlo Co. Ltd. is a powerful leader in the fashion industry which can make clothes that surpass all cultural and racial barriers.

Uniqlo which stands for “Unique Clothing” is a store which creates noncomplex and universal designs that its customers can freely blend and combine in order to create their own unique style. Like any other successful retail store, Uniqlo has an array of projects that aims to promote their brand while helping those who are less fortunate, especially those who are in desperate need for financial support.

At present, there are many students who are not given the opportunity to finish their studies mainly because of financial problems. They often get blockaded by their family’s lack of enough funds and resources, making them settle for low quality type of education instead of a world-class one.

This year, Uniqlo Co., Ltd. had established a fellowship program which aims to support graduates who will take up business or design either in Harvard Business School or the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Harvard students who are left unsponsored by corporations are those who will be eligible to apply for Uniqlo’s newly launched fellowship program. According to the announcement, fellowship applicants would have to undergo a selection process which involves a series of interviews. The final stage is a one-on-one interview conducted by Uniqlo’s Chief Executive Officer, Tadashi Yanai. For the initial stages of the selection process, it has been revealed that Hirotaka Takeuchi, a Harvard Business School professor, will be interviewing the candidates from the Harvard Business School while aspiring fellowship recipients from GSD shall be interviewed by Graduate School of Design’s visiting professor, Toyo Ito.

Students who are interested to apply for the program can start sending in their requirements from September 2015 onwards. Every year, two students from each graduate school will be entitled to the benefits Uniqlo’s fellowship program offers. It has been announced that each of the two fellowship awardees who will be chosen at the end of the process will receive an academic grant worth $200,000 from Uniqlo. This program is expected to run for the next three years. In total, six Japanese students will be receiving $1.2M as a form of an academic financial support from the leading retail store. CEO Tadashi Yanai believes that helping students reach their goal of experiencing a world-class level of education shall further enhance their talents and turn them into international professionals that will be capable of becoming assets in either the business or design industry. Moreover, those who will be chosen shall be accepted in Uniqlo Co., Ltd.’s internship program.

With the scholarships Uniqlo generously offers, it is very likely that aspiring designers and businessmen will be given more opportunity to hone their talents, skills, and knowledge on a global level. In addition to this, Uniqlo will be able to get more attention as a fashion store from Harvard students since the fast retailing store plans to unveil a number of Boston stores near the Harvard campus next fall.

 

MALAYSIA DEPORTS INDONESIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Illegal immigration is a major concern which is often deemed by majority as a fruit of people’s main motivation to seek better quality of life and economic opportunities in other countries that are far more capable of providing what their own home country cannot.

Contrary to popular belief, illegal immigration is not purely problematic for it also has its own upsides. Some of its benefits are the following: First, illegal immigrants who pay sales taxes automatically become part of a country’s tax system, since they contribute a part of what they have earned to pay taxes. Next, a country’s demand for low wage workers is, most often than not, fulfilled because of the illegal immigrants who are willing to work for lower salary rates and zero benefits. Lastly, immigrants who make use of traditional banking services pay dividends to said banks. On the other side of the argument, there is also a list of cons that people need to take note of in order to fully understand the issue. As what many people may already know, illegal immigration gives rise to problems involving ethnic variation, overcrowding, human trafficking, exploitation, judicial issues, overpopulation, and so on. To make things worse, illegal immigration also adds burden on the nation involved.

Malaysia’s Immigration Department has recently decided to deport 494 illegal immigrants by boarding them onto a C-130 military aircraft and flying them back to Indonesia. At present, there are approximately more than 6 million foreign migrants in Malaysia, and most of them went over national borders without legal documents. Most of these individuals are low wage workers that illegally work in factories, restaurants, plantations, construction sites, etc. (Cheng, 2014). This joint immigration correspondence between Indonesia and Malaysia is expected to ensure the deportation of more Indonesian illegal immigrants in the future. As of the moment, hundreds of illegal immigrants are kept in detentions centres in Malaysia, and are waiting to be flown back to Indonesia.

It has been reported that Indonesia will shoulder all the travel costs and document processing of the deportation of the illegal immigrants, while Malaysia imposes a cooling period that will most likely last for three to six months. This cooling period will not allow any illegal immigrant to return to Malaysia after the deportation; however, they can still go back to the said country once the cooling period is over given that they have prepared legal documents to use in order to work again in Malaysia. Because of this joint action of the Indonesian and Malaysian government, Malaysia was able to save money and effort from deporting nearly five hundred illegal immigrants and clamping down illegal labour as the country’s economy starts to slow.

Illegally crossing international political borders, may it be through land, water, or air, is a major issue which will perhaps never become acceptable for most people mainly because it is an act which usually leads to the rise in the rate of criminal activities, trafficking, exploitation, spread of diseases, and unfair competition between illegal immigrants and a country’s native citizens who constantly seek job opportunities. While it cannot be denied that finding a solution for illegal immigration is extremely difficult, it is not impossible to employ efficient methods that can gradually reduce its negative effects.

 

INTERNET FINANCE BOOM IN CHINA

Last 2013, online wealth management had made its advent in China. Ever since the world’s businesses have gone mobile, China’s investment has also made the same turn. What people need to know about it is that internet finance primarily encapsulates three things: (a) lending, (b) payment services, and (c) financial consultancies (Jingu, 2014).

According to experts, the reason behind the boom in internet finance in China is the list of deficiencies that can be encountered by a customer with traditional financing. Alipay, one of China’s payment services, was recently dubbed as the most popular online payment choice for the reason that it allows people to safely use their credit cards in purchasing products online. Unlike traditional banking, Alipay is so much easier to use since it does not complicate the procedures of shopping payment. Furthermore, it is complete with security guarantees unlike traditional banking. Because of the evident deficiencies in traditional financial products, more people now resort to using online internet financial tools. This, however, had put a lot of pressure on various Chinese banks as people decided to shift their deposits to online-based wealth management financial products.

In order to compete against the booming internet finance in China, a number of traditional joint-stock banks have decided to introduce money market deposit accounts which will allow several banks’ customers to withdraw their savings from automated teller machines (ATMs) and pay their debit cards through a money market account like a typical savings account.

The evident boom in the realm of internet finance in China can be credited to a subdued formal financial system. As what most people are aware of, China’s banking system is highly regulated, meaning interest rates and monopoly state banks are controlled. Because of this, most people are not able to receive favourable and real returns from the bank deposits they have made.

The formal financial system’s flaws are believed to be the chief reasons why shadow banking had managed to rise after the global financial crisis back in the year 2008; however, even though internet finance is obviously changing the landscape of the financial sector in China, this change will not permanent. Soon enough, banks will be able to compete with internet finance.

The Governor of People’s Bank of China, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, aims to liberalize interest rates after 2015 in order to allow banks to compete with the flourishing internet finance. One principal reason why the boom in internet finance will not last very long is China is because Chinese traditional banks plan to adopt internet finance as they restructure their business operation. As a matter of fact, Ping An Insurance Group had already decided to launch its own Peer-to-peer business. Experts say that it is to be expected that others banks will soon follow to this trend and employ the same tactic internet finance private firms usually use. If banks will not adopt the said trend, it is very likely that they will lose higher rates of market share. In many ways, internet finance has proven its worth as an efficient tool in enhancing China’s financial system. It might even be the beginning of financial liberalization.

 

IMF POLICIES AND AFRICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Ebola outbreak is a major health crisis which threatens most of the countries in the world at present. Thousands of people have already died, both medical practitioners and ordinary citizens, because of the Ebola virus. As of today, there are still plenty of discussions as to who or what should be blamed for the worsening of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but people believe different things. As a result, up to this day, the public still has not reached any definite conclusion yet.

While it is true that the Ebola epidemic is political in nature, it would also be safe to conclude that it also poses a lot of economic threats for the countries affected by Ebola and those areas around it. As the death toll increases in West Africa, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea continuously face great revenue shortfalls and other financial difficulties.

According to the analysis of several researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the worsening of the Ebola outbreak can be attributed partly to the shortcomings of the International Monetary Fund policies and programmes that have caused the financial immune deficiency of West Africa.

It has been found by the UK-based researchers that the rapid outbreak of Ebola is directly rooted from the policies of International Monetary Fund that have left healthcare facilities and systems in Africa underfunded. Because of this, health systems have not been able to cope with the Ebola outbreak effectively, resulting to the death of thousands of Ebola-stricken individuals.

The researchers claimed that the policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund have made it difficult to employ healthcare workers in West Africa. The study had mentioned that Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea were not able to employ doctors and pay them sufficiently, while the decentralised health systems made it almost impossible to put into action coordinated responses to the outbreak of the infectious disease. They also explained that the required economic reforms pressed by the Monetary Fund weakened the healthcare systems in the said three countries. As a response, IMF’s spokesman claimed otherwise by saying that it was all just a misunderstanding. He said that the mandate of International Monetary Fund did not encapsulate public health; therefore, it is not true that IMF policies have a link to the major health crisis in Africa. He further explained that the International Monetary Fund had provided $130 million dollars worth of financial assistance to the areas affected by the outbreak, and that IMF will give the same amount to the three areas in West Africa heavily affected by Ebola next year.

Rest assured, none of this is to say that the International Monetary Fund is wholly responsible for the outbreak. Various factors also need to be taken into account in examining the causes of the worsening of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; but although the political and socioeconomic aspects are to be paid much needed attention to in examining this issue, the international community also have to recognize the need for the revision of the IMF fiscal and its monetary policies.

 

Source:

AFP. (2014). IMF Policies blamed for weak Ebola response.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ebola/11307252/IMF-policies-blamed-for-weak-Ebola-response.html

LOOM BANDS POSE DANGER TO CHILDREN

Loom bands are one of today’s most popular toys. As a matter of fact, the Duchess of Cambridge even wore one loom band bracelet on her last trip to New Zealand. Even a legend such as David Beckham had done the same. In this highly modernized era filled with so many gadgets like iPads, smartphones, laptops, and tablets, it is incredibly fascinating to find a new trend which seems to be catching up with people of all ages who are supposed to be breathing nothing but social media by now.

Despite the craze people have over rubber bands, it has been found that loom bands can prove to be fatal once inhaled by children. According to the Journal of Laryngology and Otology, loom bands can choke children and cause their death once they are not brought to the medics immediately. This is why many medical practitioners worldwide are warning their adult patients to supervise their children while playing loom bands.

It has been reported that most foreign bodies can be easily removed from children once tiny objects have been stuck in their nose; however, once extremely small objects like loom bands have been inhaled, it can cause cardio respiratory arrest, and even death. Dr. Iain Bohler, a surgical registrar, has reported that he had experienced a situation where two children put the s-shaped hooks that come along with loom band bracelets into their nose. One of the two even choked and swallowed the hook. On another scenario, two children got loom bands stuck inside their nasal passages. It was extremely dangerous, so it demanded “local anaesthetic and crocodile forceps” in order to get the toys out. (Wilkinson, 2014)

In addition to this, it has also been reported that the plastic trinkets that come along with loom bands have cancer-causing chemicals that may lead to negative effects on children’s health. In Midlands and the South, The Entertainer had pulled out loom band charms from their eighty stores after the test results confirmed that some of the loom bands have high levels of phthalates (Harley, 2014). For toy stores all across the globe, children’s safety is always of paramount importance, this is why The Entertainer, a famous independent toy store, made the decision to value the demands of their customers and remove all loom bands from sale as they initiate full investigation regarding the matter.

RMS International Ltd., in response, clarified that not all loom bands pose cancer risks to its users. According to their spokesperson, only a number of PVC loom bands have phthalates that can potentially put people, especially children with weak immune system, in danger. In fact, after discovering that there are PVC loom charms that are dangerous to children, RMS International Ltd. automatically suspended all of its imports of loom bands into the United Kingdom to prevent bigger problems to arise.

Loom bands are still being continuously imported and exported until today. The best thing that parents can do as their children play with the colourful rubber bands and the charms that come along with it is to make sure that their children will not put it in their ears, nose, and mouth. Furthermore, it is almost important to ensure that the toys they buy for their children are safe and PVC certified.

 

Source:

Harley, N. (2014). Loom band charms removed from sale over cancer fear. Retrieved from

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/11064396/Loom-band-charms-removed-from-sale-

over-cancer-fears.html

Wilkinson, E. (2014). Loom bands ‘inhalation danger’ to young children. Retrieved from

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30582551

NORTH KOREA’S INTERNET OUTAGE

North Korea’s internet has been restored after almost ten hours of internet outage. Despite the fact that it is no longer down, many netizens are still bothered after having found that North Korea’s internet is still intermittent. What makes this issue more controversial than it should be is that it happened in the wake of the contentious Sony network breach.

As what most people know, the entertainment industry and a number of political institutions, even the White House have been alarmed because of the recent cyber attack initiated by a group of hackers called Guardians of Peace against Sony’s network. The ‘Guardians of Peace’ claimed that they will immediately release more private documents and files that belong to Sony if the studio will release the movie, The Interview, on theatres at the 25th of December.

Many, of course, suspected that North Korea was behind it since it is quite obvious how offended the Pyongyang government had been over Seth Rogen’s upcoming film; and true enough, the FBI found out that North Korea was the country responsible for hacking into Sony’s computer network. The opposing party, however, claimed that they were just framed by the United States for the crime and what ought to be done is to investigate the cybercrime in depth. What is intriguing is that after a few days, North Korea made a statement saying that they have a clear and strong evidence that the United States’ administration is behind the creation of a ‘dishonest reactionary movie’. President Barack Obama made clear on Sunday that the act committed by North Korea was not anything which signifies war but an act of cyber vandalism which is very expensive. He confirmed that U.S. will respond to the security breach at the right time in its own terms.

As to why North Korea had its internet down for several hours can be attributed to many possibilities. The first possibility is that the United States might be involved in the said act. Obviously, this is a conclusion many people will swiftly jump into. Many people claim that North Korea’s internet outage may be a form of revenge by the U.S. against North Korea for the highly disputed Sony breach; however, this is yet to be proven. The next possibility as to why the internet outage occurred in North Korea could be because of the poor maintenance of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s infrastructure. This may be one of the reasons why the internet service has been disrupted all of a sudden. One router could have broken down and it might have caused the entire internet disruption. The third possibility is that China got involved in the drama of the whole thing by taking advantage of its role as North Korea’s internet access manager and gatekeeper. On the other hand, China is North Korea’s major ally, so it would not make much sense if the Sleeping Giant will do such thing. Lastly, it is also possible that North Korea shut down their own internet access to keep the public’s attention away from the controversies involving their country with the widely talked about Sony breach.

Whoever is to be blamed for the internet outage in North Korea remains unknown, but as far as damages go, North Korea’s netizens have not been bothered as much as those who had their files stolen from them by a group of hackers. North Korea’s citizens do not use internet as much as other countries. As a matter of fact, according to CloudFlare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, North Korea is among the countries that are least connected to the world.

Sources:

Feinberg, A. (2014). So Who Shut Down North Korea’s Internet? Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/so-

who-shut-down-north-koreas-internet-1674589139

Wagstaff, J. (2014). Downing North Korea’s Internet not much of a Scalp.

Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/23/us-northkorea-cyberattack-outage-idUSKBN0K10HN20141223

THOUSANDS OF WOMENS AND YOUNG GIRLS REMAIN AS SEX SLAVES FOR IS FIGHTERS

For the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), both rape and women trafficking are not solely forms of crime but calculated tactics meant to explicitly show the militant group’s superiority and power over others. As a matter of fact, the militants are not just merely displaying their heinous crimes to the majority of the public; instead, they are boasting about it as well.

Thousands of Yazidi women have been taken by ISIS members over the past few weeks, and this abduction has already led to a massive number of deaths of young girls and women in Iraq. Females as young as ten years old have been abducted by ISIS members and after being kidnapped, they would be raped and sold at the slave markets the ISIS militants have created on their own to attract new recruits to their terror group.

Thankfully, some women, despite being gang raped by the members of the ISIS, have been able to flee their captors with the aid of some local residents in the area where the cruel militants have been keeping the 3,500 women they have abducted. It has been shared by escapees that those who spoke against the ISIS group were killed immediately and other women were constantly harassed by the IS fighters. According to some of the women who have been interviewed by Amnesty International, most of the abducted women wanted to kill themselves while they were held as captives by the militants but could not find a way to do so. One girl named Jilan, however, had managed to kill herself in the bathroom by cutting her wrists and hanging herself. Another story which was shared by the Yazidi women who were interviewed by Amnesty was the story of two sisters who tried to strangle each other in the hopes of killing one another so that they can escape their seemingly inevitable future of being ISIS sex slaves. Those whose families that have been able to pay the ransom set by the IS fighters have been freed while those who came from poor families remain captives by the terror group.

Because of the increasing rate of abduction in the IS-controlled areas in Iraq, early marriages have already become a trend because parents fear that their daughters will be forced by the terror group’s members to enter into marriage with ISIS militants. Females, both old and young, have no genuine freedom anymore because of the rise of the militant group. Furthermore, they are not the only ones being deprived by the Islamic terror group. Schools are also highly controlled by the ISIS when it comes to their curriculums. Academic syllabi have been changed completely and are now designed to teach Sharia law. If teachers will choose not to teach the said law, schools that have been shut down by the militant group will never again reopen.

According to the United Nations, around 5,000 men have already been executed and about 7,000 women have already been sold as sex slaves by ISIS fighters at present. Females who have been sold as sex slaves are usually brought back to the Islamic State’s location only to be sold again after they recover from the injuries and bruises they have acquired from the beatings they have received from the men who bought them.

 

SOURCE:

Wood, P. (2014). Islamic State: Yazidi women tell of sex-slavery trauma. Retrieved from

http://bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30573385

Steinbuch, Y. (2014). Sister entered suicide pact rather than become ISIS sex slaves. Retrieved from

http://nypost.com/2014/12/23/sisters-entered-suicide-pact-rather-than-become-isis-sex-slaves/

SPIRITUAL ALZHEIMER’S

Many people today are too caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life so much so that they feel like they do not have any other option anymore but to hold onto their faith so that they can feel a sense of comfort despite the daily challenges that come their way, may it be at work, business, household, and so on; however, it cannot be denied that at this point in time, there are lists of problems that face even those individuals who belong in the religious community; hence, if a person will make the decision to depend purely on something or someone, it is very likely that his expectations will not be met since no organization, community, or person is perfect.

Pope Francis, the first non-European papacy holder after almost a millennium, criticized the officials who belong in the Curia, the administrative body that oversees millions of people who observe the Catholic Faith, through his speech. The officials whom he was meant to speak in front of for the annual Christmas greeting in the Vatican were described in his strong and fascinating speech as people who deem themselves superior over other people and officials who were obsessed in loving their own images.

The Pope’s moving message was delivered inside the Clementine Hall in the Vatican where he accused the Curia, despite being the pinnacle of the Catholic Church as an administrative body suffering from ailments that he aims to cure by next year as the reigning pope. Upon listening to his speech, it can be inferred that Pope Francis seeks to reform Curia since it is evidently being negatively affected by what he refers to as “Spiritual Alzheimer’s” – one of the fifteen ailments Pope Francis believes to be prevailing in the aforementioned administrative body. Based from his explanation, spiritual alzheimer’s is the ailment which is possessed by those who have already long forgotten their personal encounters with God and those who have chosen to depend to their idols instead to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In addition to this, Pope Francis also criticized the desire of certain groups in the Curia to be stronger than the whole body. Although it could have started because of good intentions, he believes that once individuals become enslaved to their own desires, the groups they have formed can grow as closed groups that will threaten the whole governing administration.

One of the solutions he proposes is for the Catholic bishops all across the globe to be granted a bigger opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions regarding doctrine-related activities and decision-making processes as opposed to their current condition wherein they have no bigger say than those in the Vatican. Another is to change the self-serving ways of those who desire to claim authority and power over everyone and everything.

Despite the fact that he seeks reform, it still remains a question to many as to why Pope Francis was motivated to deliver such type of message. Most likely, it could be because he is disappointed with the slow pace of Vatican bureaucracy. As what most people know, Pope Francis is a Vatican outsider and he has not experienced to work in Rome prior to his election as the Catholic Church’s pope. Clearly, Pope Francis longs to reform the bureaucracy of the Vatican with the aid of his new circle of cardinal advisers.

SOURCE:

AP News. (2014). A list of Pope Francis’ 15 “Ailments of the Curia”.

Pope Francis Criticizes Vatican Bureaucracy. [Video file]. (2014). Retrieved from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJOnm7e7SVg