Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday, December 16, 2019

Chechen Terror Cell Had Planned Attacks Across Europe Starting in Vienna Christmas Market

A Chechen group around an IS sympathizer who is already in Hirtenberg is said to have planned attacks in Vienna, Salzburg, Germany, France and Luxembourg between Christmas and New Year.

 Three native Chechens are said to have planned a whole series of attacks in Vienna and other cities between Christmas and New Year.  The driving force behind the terrorist attack allegedly planned in Vienna was probably a 24-year-old Chechen who was most recently housed in the Hirtenberg prison.

 He is said to have planned his outbreak from prison and then to a series of the terror attacks.  According to the investigation, which has not been confirmed by the authorities, an explosive attack was initially planned in downtown Vienna, specifically on the Christmas market on Stephansplatz.  Then attacks in Salzburg, Germany, France and Luxembourg should have followed.  Two suspected accomplices, Chechens aged 25 and 31, were detained last week (as reported).

The law enforcement authorities are said to have tracked down the three men, an anonymous whistle-blower, who is said to have warned above all of the inmate who was imprisoned in Hirtenberg, since he was still attached to the IS ideology after his conviction.  Extensive investigations, telephone surveillance and observations confirmed the suspicion that led to the arrest of the Chechens who had been released - because of "imminent danger", the court officials have said.

 The responsible regional court in Wiener Neustadt assumed that the men who had previously been considered harmless had been given the risk of escaping, collusion, perpetrating an offense or executing an offense.  Formally, the investigation is ongoing towards terrorist groups.  The case is being carried out as an interdiction, both law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of the Interior reacted cautiously to inquiries.  What is certain is that the three suspects were in constant contact with one another via their cell phones, even though prison law prohibits cell phones and communication with the outside world should be impossible.  According to the current investigation, the alleged accomplices should initially have helped the main suspect escape from prison.  A fake Romanian passport in the name of the 24-year-old was seized from the 25-year-old.

 Police try to calm fears

 It is unclear to what extent the two were involved in the 24-year-old's terror plans.  The attorneys for the alleged accomplices, Wolfgang Blaschitz and Florian Kreiner, assured that their clients had communicated with the prisoner, "but did not plan any crooked things," as Blaschitz emphasized.  He represents the 25-year-old, who is known in the Viennese martial arts scene as a very successful MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter.  Like the 31-year-old, he has never harmed anyone, and acquaintances from the MMA scene described the athlete as "perfectly integrated" in conversation with the "press".  For him, competitive sport was in the first place, he was a "normal believer".  Kreiner, the lawyer, asserts that the 31-year-old, a family man, has "nothing to do with the whole thing".  He was a Muslim, "but not radicalized.”

In any case, the central figure is said to be the 24-year-old, and he is anything but an unknown: he was twice convicted of organizing for terrorism (Section 278b of the Criminal Code).  In October 2015, he was found guilty in Vienna after joining IS in the company of his mother in a wheelchair and his pregnant wife in Syria.  The accused had been put under police control in Turkey and had been sent back to Austria.  The young man - his wife appeared fully veiled in court, only when he nodded did she take off her face veil - was given two years of unconditional detention in his first trial.  He was released prematurely after around 14 months, although it was announced that he had "missionized" prisoners in prison.

Shortly after his release, the Chechen wanted to go back to Syria, failed again and was again sentenced to two years in Korneuburg in October 2017.  The 24-year-old has now been transferred to a maximum security prison.

 The population had to, as a police spokesman told the "press" Monday evening, "not worry": The security concept for Vienna's Christmas markets, which has been in place for months, will not be changed.  The risk situation has not changed.  According to the police, authorities and organizers in Vienna are in constant contact, police officers in uniform and in civilian clothes are on duty - similarly in Salzburg: Christkindl markets or the city center where New Year's Eve is celebrated are also well secured with the previous measures.

 Prison minister: Stepping up the radicalization work

 Ramazan Demir, Honorary Chairman of Islamic Prison Counseling in Austria, worked as a pastor for eight years and wrote the book "Among Extremists: A Prison Counselor looks into the soul of radical Muslims". He points to the enormous importance of prevention and deradicalization in prisons. Because almost all assassins across Europe had been in prison and had been (further) radicalized there because they would equate Islam with violence without a stop or orientation and with a wrong understanding of religion.

 It is all the more important to "support and educate these people" in cooperation with the state authorities and the Islamic community in Austria. To do this, more resources are needed, after all, there are around 2,000 Muslim prisoners in Austria.

Edit: 2,000 too many. Shouldn’t they be located somewhere to the east of the Danube?


 (k.b./cim/win - "Die Presse" print edition from 17.12.2019)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Come Let Us Adore Him

The Holy Family and Angels Adoring the Christ Child

BREAD OF LIFE (excerpt)
Father Leonard Feeney

At Bethlehem, in the crib, is a loving, warm, exquisite Baby. In order to find that little Charity, that bundle of Love lying in the straw, you have got to walk down the hills, over the rocks, across the brooks, into the dark, in your hunt for the cave. You have got to sacrifice other things in order to find it, even the brightness of the stars. The songs of the angels have to be put away, or, if you are a shepherd, your sheep. That is how chaste you have to be to find this Baby ...

A Child is given unto us! A Child is born to us, Who is Christ the Lord! Our Lord’s life was, in its simplicity, the life of a child. He did not have too many friends. I do not think you would call seventy-two disciples too many followers — or twelve apostles too many close friends. ...
We all stay a child as we go through life — the best part of us does. We are a child when we eat, when we sleep, when we are sick, when we are old. When we are lonely, we are a child; when we are hurt, we are a child. If we only would let that child in us become interested in Jesus, you would be surprised how easily we could find Him!

Jesus of Bethlehem is given all over the world in the simple, complete value of Christmas, in all the traditions we know — in the kind of story one tells to a child. The inspired record of His life in Holy Scripture is there, in case a child is looking. If you are looking as a child this Christmas, it is child’s play to find it.

Link to The Point...

Painting: Adoration of the Child by Gerrit van Honthorst (Uffizi, Florence)

Christmas Greetings from Galliawatch and an edifying Christmas mediation by Jean Paul Sartre.

H/t photo: Katholisches...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bishop Oster Stops Sending Written Christmas Cards

The Bishop of Passau has already received several hundred Christmas letters.

Passau ( The Bishop of Passau, Stefan Oster SDB is looking forward to his first Christmas in the diocese of Passau. "I would particularly like to invite you now to the festive Christmas church services in the cathedral, but of course also in the other churches of our diocese," he stressed. For weeks now, a lot of Christmas mail has arrived at the chancery. "I'm happy about every single letter and every card," said Bishop Stefan. "The great appreciation, the good wishes are extended to me by so many people, touches me," says the chief shepherd of Passau. Several hundred letters are already on the bishop's desk.

Furthermore, the bishop added but added: "At the same time I also have the impression that for many people and organizations in the pressure of having to do the Christmas mail, annual increases and the many hours involved, sometimes days and weeks are noticeable. Even for myself. That is a time when we little have time for little else, let alone to really turn in prayer to Christ who wants to touch us and meet us in this day."

Therefore, Bishop Stefan wants to set an example in this year and give up writing Christmas cards. He connects it with the promise that all who have written to him or are writing, are included in his prayers. He is also accessing the modern tools of electronic greeting postcards, which are to make available to all people his Christmas blessings, especially those who have written to him.

Next week, a Christmas greeting on the website of the Diocese will be available. This version also brings aid to people in need: Bishop Stefan donates the money that is saved for cards, letters and postage for the Child and Youth Services in Sierra Leone. In the local capital, Freetown, Salesian Brother Lothar Wagner works with street children and currently cares mainly about Ebola Ebola orphans or survivors. Photo Bishop Oster (c) Roman Catholic Diocese of Passau

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Russia Saves Paris Christmas at Notre Dame

Edit: this bit from Gallia Watch and Tiberge, who asks, "aren't there enough Catholics in France with a little extra money to donate to such a worthy tradition? Was it necessary to take money from a foreign power, even if it was offered with the best of intentions? Of course the Socialist mayor could not violate the 1905 law on Church/State separation, and provide funds, even though funds are abundantly provided for some very anti-Christian cultural events and some very pro-Islamic festivities, such as the celebration of Ramadan at City Hall every year. Still, it seems implausible that private donations from the French Catholic community were not forthcoming."

It seems to us that actions speak louder than words but we await the season with great hope in the message of Emanuel  to be with us to the end of time, even as a child.
PARIS, November 21 (Sputnik) — Moscow has helped Paris raise funds for its main Christmas tree to be set up in the square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, a source in the Russian embassy in France told RIA Novosti Friday. 
In the past, a giant Christmas tree was bought using donations collected by the local parish only, but this year's campaign fell short of its goal – so Moscow City Hall jumped in to save the day, according to the Russian Embassy in Paris. 
Russian ambassador to France Alexander Orlov has been invited to attend the switching on of Christmas tree lights on Saturday. The rector of Notre Dame de Paris, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, will also be present to welcome the Christmas season and see the tree light up. 
Paris's Christmas tree goes up in the main square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral every year, from December to January.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holy Christmas, Everyone


 Dominus dixit ad me: Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te. Quare fremueruunt gentes: et popouli meditati sunt inania?


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pope's Brother: Benedict XVI Still Feels Fresh

Regensburg (  Pope Benedict XVI. is in good health and "relatively fresh" according to his brother Msgr Georg Ratzinger.  Bayrischen Rundfunk (BR) said the earlier leader of the "Regensburg Cathedral Circle" in an interview on Christmas, that the Pope is in good health.  "My brother is still relatively fresh, he is holding up in work and that -- I believe -- already helps to stay fresh and not mentally damed up."  The limitations of age are bearable for the Pope.  Pope Benedict XVI has difficulties with mobility, but in age everything is "a bit more difficult".

Georg Ratzinger, who himself will be 89 years old on the 15th of January, will celebrate Christmas with the Monastery Chapter in St. John's in Regensburg.   On the 28th of December he will be traveling back to Rome he says.  He has already picked out a gift for his brother.  Among several CDs is a selection of the H Sharp Mass of Johann Sebastian Bach, which the Pope wanted.  The gifts can't measure up in the midst of the Christmas festivities.  "He has everything what he needs and to attend to rarities -- that doesn't go at my age any more and real rarities are also too expensive", says Ratzinger.

The evenings on the end of December and the beginning of January, which Georg Ratzinger spends with his brother in the Vatican, are not very impressive, says the one time Cathedral Kapellmeister.  Thus the learned church musician plays the piano for the closes circle of Papal colleagues, among whom two are cloistered nuns, and the secretary sings Christmas songs.  Cookies and punch are brought along too.

Link to

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Clemency for the Pope's Butler

Rome (  Pope Benedict XVI has offered clemency for his former butler, Paolo Gabriele and released him from punishment.  The Pope imparted this to him during a visit to Gabriele's cell.

It was approached as fatherly gesture to a person, who had familiar contact with the Pope daily for several years, says a note from the Secretary of State.

Gabriele may not work any longer in the Vatican.  He also may not continue living in his home.  The Holy See however trusts in the honorability of his rethinking and is seeing to it that he is offered the possibility to take up again living in peace together with his family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Cancelled in Brussels

Here's a little something from Friends of Hungary.

THE END OF CHRISTIANITY IN BRUSSELS - NO CHRISTMAS THIS YEARAccording to Brussels city government's representative Bianca Debaets Brussels will not place a Christmas tree on its historical Grand Place square, because the tree, as a symbol of Christianity, could harm the feelings of people of other faiths. The electronic timber that has been granted and already placed is called "winter tree". The "Christmas market" thus receives a new name, from which the word "Christmas" is missing. (The muslim community reached 25% of Brussel's total population. According to most analysts the size and influence of the muslim community in Belgium was a key factor in making the decision.) 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Italy: Authorities Try to Abolish Christmas, For Real

Edit: After hearing about how a man dressed as a Roman Centurion attacked and substantially damaged an ancient local church in Rome recently,  here's a more uplifting tale describing the constant war against the powers and principalities.  There was a viral meme a few years back that a Bradford City Council in England was abolishing Christmas to mollify Muslims, by referring to Christmas as "Midwinter Festival"?  Still, atheists in Santa Monica have the same idea.

Yes, it's happening again except this time it's Italy and Catholics aren't sitting back, letting it happen and then bemoaning that it happened with the usual resignation easily detectable in Catholic and conservative circles these days in Northern Europe and the United States.

In the province of Caraoso in Piacenza, Italy, a school Principal has overstepped his bounds and will now have to find himself a new job.

This just in from a correspondent about a really interesting situation in Italy where Cultural Marxism attempts to rear its ugly head and is stomped by an angry mob of ordinary Italians.  People in Europe don't appear to be quite as sanguine and passive about the authorities destroying their traditions as are alleged Catholics in the United States.  Nativity scenes are routinely attacked by the ACLU or local miscreants and Anarchists with impunity:

A principle of a public elementary school in the Province of Piacenza decided to ban any mention of Christmas (including the display of the traditional nativity scenes) in order not to "offend" north African students. At which point the parents exploded in protest. The mayor of the town promised to personally deliver 4 nativity scenes and will press to have the principle transferred out of the school. The protests have arrived at the ministry of public education in Rome. Can one imagine such a protest happening in the oh-so-Christian USA? No, one cannot.
Link to source...


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Norway: a bomb threat closed the airport station Oslo

Editor: coordination between Anarchist and Al Qaeda cells shouldn't be overruled.

 OSLO, Dec. 23, 2010 | The alert was lifted Thursday night in the railway station to the airport in Oslo, excavations on a train carrying a bomb intended as a message board found no result Norwegian police said.

AFP | 23.12.2010 | 23:02 AFP | 23.12.2010 | 11:02 p.m.

. The alert was lifted Thursday night in the railway station to the airport in Oslo, excavations on a train carrying a bomb intended as a message board found no result, Norwegian police said.

Traffic, suspended four hours after the evacuation of the train station and Oslo-Gardermoen, resumed shortly after 2200 (21HOO GMT), officials said.
 "While the train was searched, but found nothing at all. Traffic is now reopened," said the head of police operations Romerike, Svein Arild Hallaas, the agency NTB.
  The evacuation of the train and the station occurred around 1715 GMT but the air traffic and the airport itself, located about thirty kilometers northeast of the capital of Norway, were not affected .

Read further...

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Pogue and "The Priests" Sing Drummer Boy: The Video

A promotional video is available on the new Shane MacGowan  and "The Priests" video, here, where they'll be singing Little Drummer Boy.   Others have made the comparison between Bing Crosby and David Bowie, which was very popular and somewhat shocking and strange when it came about.  Since we're used to such juxtapositions and irony now, Shane MacGowan will surely surprise those who know of him as anarchic, dark and anti-clerical will be taken by surprise at the singer's reverential treatment of "The Priests".

This meeting of these entertainers in contrast to Bowie standing on equal footing with Bing, gives  the air of the prodigal returning home, as the riotous Pogues lead singer asks "the Priests" for a 'blessin' before they go.  It's much more touching than the Bowie-Crosby meeting lacking the forced generational tension. It certainly looks much darker in this new version and they will possibly be singing as Bowie correctly and properly did, "that men of good will can live in peace" and not  "that each child should be made to care" in its very hyper-educational vein.  Perhaps it's also a lot less preachy as the producers of the Bowie-Crosby show felt the need in that time to tip the hat to the "Peace" Movement in the late date of 1977, whose naive optimism had been shattered the year before when the Punk Rock movement came on the scene, which prepared the way for the Pogues early eighties debut.  It's almost as if Bowie and Crosby are seeking refuge with the remnants of the Ancien Régime  in a country estate as Anarchy came to the UK.  Incidentally, Bing Crosby had been long established and his popularity never really waned.  Bowie's career as a pop icon was just then coming to an end.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pope traces history of Christmas celebration, notes influence of St. Francis

December 23, 2009

In his final Wednesday public audience before Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI traced the history of the feast day. He reminded the audience in the Paul VI auditorium that Easter, not Christmas, was the “the most ancient feast of Christianity.” The tradition of celebrating the Nativity developed later.

At first the celebration of Christmas replaced the Roman pagan feast of Sol invictus-- the return of the Sun after the darkest day of the calendar year. “This highlighted the fact that the birth of Christ is the victory of the true light over the darkness of evil and sin,” the Pope remarked. The Christmas celebration as we now know it was advanced by St. Francis of Assisi, whose devotion to the Christ-child helped the world to understand “that we can establish an intimate rapport of profound affection with Him, just as we do with a newborn child.”

“God becomes a defenseless child to overcome man's pride, violence and thirst for possession,” the Pope continued. "People who have not understood the mystery of Christmas have not understood the decisive element of Christian existence: that those who do not accept Jesus with the heart of a child cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven.”

Link to original...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas could be killed off by Harman's Equality Bill, bishops warn

Mail Online
By Kirsty Walker

Harriet Harman's Equality Bill strengthens protection for minority groups by placing new equality duty on public bodies

Christmas celebrations could be banned under Harriet Harman's controversial Equality Bill, Catholic bishops warned yesterday.

The bishops said they feared that the complex legislation could have the 'chilling effect' of town halls and other organisations clamping down on Christian festivities.

Monsignor Andrew Summersgill, the general secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, has written to MPs expressing his concerns about the new legislation.

His submission warns that the Equality Bill will fuel Britain's 'risk averse' culture.

The bishops pointed to bizarre decisions made in recent years to ban Christmas decorations for fear of offending other cultures.

Oxford city council last year provoked outrage by renaming the city's Christmas festival as the 'Winter Light Festival' to make it more inclusive.

Read further...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

German diocese creates ‘Santa-free zone’

German diocese creates ‘Santa-free zone’

Speyer, Germany, Nov 11, 2009 / 05:09 pm (CNA).- In an effort to encourage people to replace the commercialization of the Christmas season with a true devotion to Advent, Christmas and the “true Santa Claus,” several groups within the German Diocese of Speyer have initiated a “Santa-free campaign.”

The Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ) of Speyer has partnered with other organizations to champion the cause of St. Nicholas of Myra, a friend and helper of children and those in trouble. St. Nicholas, whose feast is celebrated on December 6, represents the good side of man: selflessness, charity and selfless service, the campaign says.