Category: Dalai Lama


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110430/wl_nm/us_pope_johnpaul

By Philip Pullella and Catherine Hornby Philip Pullella And Catherine Hornby 46 mins ago

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope John Paul II moves a step closer to sainthood on Sunday when his successor beatifies him before an expected crowd of several hundred thousand people. Pilgrims from all over the world, many from the pope’s native Poland, have flocked to Rome to witness the beatification mass and take part in the biggest event in the Italian capital since the late pope’s funeral in 2005.

Groups carrying national flags and singing songs have gathered over the weekend where the ceremony will take place, in St Peter’s Square, which is bedecked with posters and photos of the late pope.

Up to 200,000 people attended a prayer vigil on Saturday evening in the Circus Maximus, the huge oval once used by the ancient Romans for chariot races. Some Rome churches threw their doors open all night to give pilgrims a space to pray.

John Paul’s successor Pope Benedict XVI will pronounce a Latin formula on Sunday declaring one of the most popular popes in history a “blessed” of the Church.

A place of honor is reserved for Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, a French nun who suffered from Parkinson’s disease but whose inexplicable cure has been attributed to John Paul’s intercession with God to perform a miracle, thus permitting the beatification to go ahead.

The Vatican will have to attribute another miracle to John Paul’s intercession after the beatification in order for him to be declared a saint.

Some 90 official delegations from around the world, including members of five European royal families and 16 heads of state, will attend the beatification.

They include Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has been widely criticized for human rights abuses in his country. Mugabe is banned from traveling to the European Union, but the Vatican — a sovereign state — is not a member of the bloc.

COFFIN ON DISPLAY

Pope John Paul’s coffin was exhumed on Friday from the crypts below St Peter’s Basilica and will be placed in front of the main altar. After Sunday’s beatification mass, it will remain there and the basilica will remain open until all visitors who want to view it have done so.

It will then be moved to a new crypt under an altar in a side chapel near Michelangelo’s statue of the Pieta. The marble slab that covered his first burial place will be sent to Poland.

John Paul’s beatification has set a new speed record for modern times, taking place six years and one month after his death on April 2, 2005.

While the overwhelming number of Catholics welcome it, a minority are opposed, with some saying it happened too fast.

Liberals in the church say John Paul was too harsh with theological dissenters who wanted to help the poor, particularly in Latin America. Some say John Paul should be held ultimately responsible for the sexual abuse scandals because they occurred or came to light when he was in charge.

Ultra-Conservatives say he was too open toward other religions and that he allowed the liturgy to be “infected” by local cultures, such as African dancing, on his trips abroad.

The pope is being beatified on the day the Church celebrates the movable Feast of Divine Mercy, which this year happens to fall on May 1, the most important feast in the communist world.

The coincidence is ironic, given that many believe the pope played a key role in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

Dalai Lama nephew hit by car, killed on Fla. walk

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110215/ap_on_re_us/us_dalai_lama_nephew_killed

 50 mins ago

FILE-This April 8, 2008 file photo shows Jigme Norbu, left, nephew of the Dalai Lama, standing next to Thupten Donyo, right, holding up a photo of thePALM COAST, Fla. – The Dalai Lama’s nephew was killed along a Florida coastal highway during one of his long treks to bring awareness to the Tibetan struggle for independence from China, officials said.

Jigme K. Norbu was hit after dark Monday on the side of the unlit highway by an SUV. A Highway Patrol accident report said Norbu, 45, was walking on the white line in the same direction as traffic, on the southbound side of a state highway that runs the length of the state’s Atlantic coast.

The driver, 31-year-old Keith R. O’Dell of Palm Coast, was not charged. He and a passenger, his 5-year-old son, were not injured.

Police released few other details. Norbu, who lived in Bloomington, Ind., and was active in a Tibetan rights group there, had started with others Monday on a Valentine’s Day “Walk for Tibet” meant to cover some 300 miles from St. Augustine south to West Palm Beach, according to his group, Ambassadors For World Peace.

Norbu was dead when emergency services arrived at the scene, about 25 miles south of St. Augustine on State Highway A1A, the report said.

A phone listing for the driver could not immediately be found.

Norbu, the son of the Dalai Lama’s late brother, Taktser Rinpoche, has done similar walks several other times, including one of 900 miles in 2009 from Indiana to New York.

That walk marked the 50th anniversary of the failed Tibetan rebellion against Chinese rule that resulted in the exile of his uncle, who is Tibet’s top spiritual leader.

In northern India, officials at the Dalai Lama’s office in Dharmsala could not immediately be reached and the Tibetan government-in-exile had not commented as of late Tuesday.

Norbu’s late father was a high lama who was abbot of a monastery when the Chinese invaded. The brothers fled into exile following the 1959 uprising.

Rinpoche, who died in September 2008 at 86, was a professor of Tibetan studies at Indiana University in Bloomington while serving as the Dalai Lama’s U.S. representative.

The Dalai Lama has visited Bloomington several times. The city about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis is home to the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center and Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple.

China claims Tibet as part of its territory, but many Tibetans say Chinese rule deprives them of religious freedom. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan autonomy and fomenting anti-Chinese protests.

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