Bible Verses Transformed Into Healing Prayers For Any Sickness

Everlasting Father have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. (Psalm 6:2)

Lord, I listen to your voice and will do that which is right in your sight, and will heed your commandments and keep all statutes, you have taken away this diseases that are upon me for you are the Lord that healed this body. (Exodus 15:26)

Mighty God, I shall serve you as the Lord my God, and you shall bless my bread and water; and will take this sickness away from the midst of me. (Exodus 23:25)

I am your people, which is called by your name, I shall humble myself, and pray, and seek thy face, and turn from any wicked ways; then shall I hear from heaven, and you shall forgive my sin, and will heal my broken body. (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Mighty God, you have kept all my bones: not one of them is, broken. (Psalm 41:3). Lord, you will strengthen me upon my sick bed, and thou shall heal me from all sickness and disease. (Psalm 34:20).

Most precious God, you have healed this broken body bind, bound and cast away this terrible disease that the adversary as inflicted upon me, in the name of Jesus. (Psalm 147:3).

Your powerful words are as a honeycomb, sweet to my soul, and health to my body and bones, that healed all of me. (Proverbs 16:24).

O Lord, by your words we live, and in all things is the life of your spirit: so thou art healed me, and make me whole to live. (Isaiah 38:16).

Then I cry unto the Lord in my trouble, and he saves me and takes me out of my distress. You placed your hands on me and healed, and delivered me from all my sickness, thank you for covering me under the blood of Jesus. (Psalm 107:19-20).

Pope understands those leaving Church

POPE Benedict XVI said today he could understand why people were turning their back on the Catholic Church after the recent sex abuse scandals, as he arrived for his first state visit to Germany.

At the start of a four-day trip to his homeland, the pontiff also took a conciliatory tone with protesters who planned to rally in the free-wheeling, overwhelmingly Protestant or secular German capital as long as they were “civil”.

“I can understand that in the face of such reports, people, especially those close to victims, would say ‘this isn’t my Church anymore’,” the 84-year-old told reporters on his plane from Rome.

Enduring outrage over widespread molestation of children by Catholic clergy over several decades has threatened to cloud the pope’s visit, where his election six years ago met with an outpouring of joy.

Organisers say at least 20,000 demonstrators, including gays, feminists, atheists, abuse survivors and other papal opponents, will gather in Berlin.

“Our alliance is not protesting against faith but rather calls on Catholics to demonstrate against the Church’s stances,” said Pascal Ferror, coordinator of a collective called “The Pope Is Coming”.

Benedict said that such protests were “normal in a free society marked by strong secularism”.

“One can’t object” to such protests, he added. “I respect those who speak out.”

The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics has a gruelling schedule while in Germany, combining official talks in Berlin with outreach to the faithful, many of whom have grown alienated during his six-year-old papacy.

The pontiff will hold his first-ever speech before a national parliament in the afternoon before addressing a capacity crowd of 70,000 at the historic Olympic Stadium.

He will also visit Erfurt in former communist East Germany and predominantly Catholic Freiburg in the southwest, addressing an estimated total of 260,000 people in his mother tongue before departing on Sunday.

But as if to underline the ambivalence in his native country, dozens of leftist deputies vowed to boycott the pontiff’s speech to parliament, while throngs of demonstrators rally a few blocks away behind police barricades.

“It will do the pope good to come to Berlin and sense what reality is in the year 2011,” said the co-leader of the opposition Greens, Claudia Roth, amid accusations the address will undermine the separation of Church and state.

Critics say Ratzinger, known as “God’s Rottweiler” while head of the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is out of touch with modern life with his rigorous dogma on artificial contraception, homosexuality and the role of women in the Church.

Security units were enforcing a lockdown near the Bundestag parliament building, as well as in the largely Muslim neighbourhood around the apostolic nunciature, the Vatican embassy, where he will spend the night.

Catholic leaders hope to avert the disruption seen last month in Spain during World Youth Day celebrations, when thousands marched against the pope, sparking a police crackdown, or during a 1996 trip when John Paul II in his popemobile encountered paint bombs and a female streaker in Berlin.

Benedict’s papacy has been marred by revelations last year of rampant abuse by German priests over several decades, which helped drive more than 181,000 from the Church – 57,000 more than in 2009.

The pope said today that there were various factors at play.

“There are many reasons for people leaving the Church in the context of a secular society. Leaving the Church is generally the final step along a long path of distancing oneself from the Church,” he told journalists.

The Vatican has indicated it is likely the pontiff will meet with sexual abuse victims, as he did on trips to Britain and Malta.

Polls show that an overwhelming majority of Germans are largely indifferent to “their” pope’s arrival.

Germany’s Christians are split down the middle between Catholics and Lutherans, each with about one-third of the population in the country that was the cradle of the Reformation.

The pope will give 18 sermons and speeches during his 21st trip abroad, his third to Germany following World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005 and a private visit to his native Bavaria in 2006.

Pope sued for crimes against humanity

AN international group representing victims of sexual abuse by priests says it will sue Pope Benedict through the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint calling on the court to “take action and prosecute the Pope” for “direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world”.

In a statement, the network said members from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US had travelled to The Hague with human rights lawyers to urge prosecutors to investigate the Pope and three other high-ranking Vatican officials.

The US-based group also submitted more than 20,000 pages of supporting materials including “reports, policy papers, and evidence of the crimes by Catholic clergy committed against children and vulnerable adults”. it said.

The Catholic Church is struggling to deal with rising anger and a string of lawsuits following thousands of child abuse claims in Europe and the US.

Vatican admits grave failures in Ireland abuse scandal

THE Vatican today acknowledged “grave failures” over the handling of a child sex abuse scandal involving priests in southern Ireland that sparked outrage in the Dublin government.

While denying any suggestion that it sought to hamper investigations into the scandal in the diocese of Cloyne, the Vatican expressed deep concern at the findings of an official report commissioned by the Irish government.

“The Holy See is deeply concerned at the findings of the commission of inquiry concerning grave failures in the ecclesiastical governance of the diocese of Cloyne,” said a Vatican statement.

The Vatican also “wishes to state its abhorrence for the crimes of sexual abuse which took place in that diocese”, the statement added.

July’s publication of the report into more than a decade of abuse by priests in Cloyne triggered an unprecedented attack by Prime Minister Enda Kenny who called the Roman Catholic Church’s behaviour “absolutely disgraceful”.

While Pope Benedict XVI last year wrote a letter to Irish Catholics expressing shame and remorse over the abuse of children by members of the clergy, campaigners say the Church has been guilty of a cover-up.

In the statement today, the Vatican denied that it had tried to block inquiries by the Irish authorities.

“The Holy See wishes to make it quite clear that it in no way hampered or sought to interfere in any inquiry into child sexual abuse in the diocese of Cloyne,” it said.

The Cloyne report condemned the Church’s handling of abuse claims against 19 clerics in Cloyne between 1996 and 2009, saying it was “inadequate and inappropriate”.

In language never before used by an Irish leader, an outraged Prime Minister Kenny later told parliament the Church’s inability to deal with the cases showed a culture of “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism” at the Vatican.

The Vatican subsequently recalled its envoy to Ireland in order to formulate an official response.

The Cloyne case is only the latest in a series of abuse scandals for the Catholic Church in Ireland that were first exposed in a 2009 report detailing hundreds of cases of sexual abuse of children by priests going back decades.


Indonesian mayor seeks to ban church construction

JAKARTA, Indonesia—A mayor is trying to ban Christian churches on streets with Islamic names, the latest attempt to block construction of a new parish in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Critics say the proposal—however arbitrary—is another example of growing religious intolerance.

The Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church was supposed to open in the city of Bogor in 2008, but residents protested, claiming its permit was illegal.

Though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church in December, Mayor Diani Budiarto refused to comply.

He argued he was pushing for a decree to make it illegal to open churches on streets with Islamic names.

Indonesia, a secular nation of 240 million, has a long history of religious tolerance, but a small extremist fringe has become more vocal—and violent—in recent years.

Critics said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono—who relies heavily on Islamic parties in parliament—has remained silent as minorities have been attacked by hard-liners or seen their houses of worship torched or boarded up.

Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population, also say it can take years to get permits to build new churches.

The Taman Yasmin worshippers have been holding weekly services in front of their sealed off building for nearly three years, said Bona Singalingging, the church spokesman.

He called the mayor’s latest proposal part of a “dangerous” trend.

The Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, a human rights group, says attacks on religious freedom by hard-liners more than tripled in the last two years.

In 2010, there were 64 incidents, ranging from physical abuse to preventing groups from performing prayers and burning houses of worship, up from 18 in 2009 and 17 in 2008.

Christian group builds replica ark

Tucked away in a nondescript office in northern Kentucky, Noah’s followers are rebuilding his ark.

The biblical wooden ship built to weather a worldwide flood was 152m long and about 24m high, according to Answers in Genesis, a Christian ministry devoted to a literal telling of the Old Testament.

This modern ark, to be nestled on 325ha of rolling Kentucky farmland, is not designed to rescue the world’s creatures from a coming deluge. It is to tell the world that the Bible‘s legendary flood story was not a fable, but a part of human history.

“The message here is, God’s word is true,” said Mike Zovath, project manager. “There’s a lot of doubt: ‘Could Noah have built a boat this big, could he have put all the animals on the boat?’ Those are questions people all over the country ask.”

The ark will be the centrepiece of a proposed US$155 million ($188 million) religious theme park, called the Ark Encounter, and will include other biblical icons like the Tower of Babel and an old world-style village.

It is an expansion of the ministry’s first major public attraction, the controversial Creation Museum. It opened in 2007 and attracted worldwide attention for presenting stories from the Bible as historical fact, challenging evolution and asserting that the earth was created about 6000 years ago.

The ark is a different approach, Zovath said. “It’s really not about creation-evolution, it’s about the authority of the Bible starting with the ark account in Genesis.”

Inside the ark’s headquarters in Hebron, a small team of artists and designers are working on the visuals, but once the project begins early next year, there will be hundreds at the creation, including a team of Amish builders from Indiana who will erect the giant ark.

Zovath says the ark will have old-world details, like wooden pegs instead of nails, straight-sawed timbers and plenty of animals, some alive, some robotic. He said it has not yet been determined how many live animals will be in the boat, but the majority will be stuffed or animatronic. At their count, Noah had about 2000 to 4000 on board.

There are a handful of replica arks around the world, but Zovath said this will be authentic inside and out.

“When you get to walk through the boat and see how big this thing really was, and how many cages were there, and how much room there was for food and water … our hope is people start seeing that this is plausible, that the account could be believed,” Zovath said.

A longtime critic of Answers in Genesis argues the attraction will bring in converts to creationism by challenging scientific findings about the world’s history.

“Many think that since creationism is so irrational and so unscientific that nobody really could believe it, but that’s not so,” said Edwin Kagin, president of a nationwide atheist group. The park will be “so slick and so well done, you can get people to believe in anything”.

The Ark Encounter will not be the first US theme park inspired by the Bible, or the first with Noah’s big boat. A park in tourism-rich Orlando, Florida, features a portrayal of the crucifixion by actors six days a week, along with Jesus’ resurrection and gospel concerts.

Other replicas of Noah’s ship have been built around the world.

A huge fibreglass ark sits at the centre of a Hong Kong Noah’s Ark attraction, and another floating ark in the Netherlands is being built by a Dutchman, who wants to sail it to London for the 2012 Olympic Games. In the US, a church in Frostburg, Maryland, is building a to-scale ark supported by a steel frame.

Still, attractions with religious themes can be risky ventures, according to an amusement park expert.

“In some ways, it’s a two-edged sword: If you go for the religious market, you already have something that is somewhat unique in the market, and that particular market is known to be willing to make a special effort, to drive an extra distance, to get the church groups to go out and make a special outing,” said John Gerner, managing director of Leisure Business Advisers of Richmond, Virginia.

“The problem with that approach is you always risk bordering on being disrespectful if not sacrilegious,” Gerner said. “There is a line as far as what you can do in this approach.”

A feasibility study on the Ark Encounter declared the park would attract 1.6 million visitors in its first year, Zovath said. The Creation Museum has attracted over a million people since it opened four years ago.

State officials are banking on the park’s success and the 900 jobs it is expected to create, by making the project eligible for more than US$40 million in tax rebates if the Ark Encounter hits its attendance marks.

Tying state incentives to a religious park has attracted criticism.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington-based group, has said the park would run afoul of constitutional law.

“Noah didn’t get government help when he built the first ark, and the fundamentalist ministry behind the Kentucky replica shouldn’t either,” the group said.

Kagin said challenging the project in court would probably be a losing battle because of the way the tax incentives are structured.

“The legislation is so drafted that they will give this incentive to any organisation that is going to increase tourism in Kentucky,” he said. “And there’s no question whatsoever that this group will.”

China ordination raises tensions with Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI is “deeply saddened” by the ordination of a bishop in China without his approval, the Vatican said Monday, attacking the latest unilateral act by China’s state-controlled Catholic church in its standoff with Rome.

The toughly worded communique said the ordination of the Rev. Paul Lei Shiyin in the diocese of Leshan on June 29 is considered illegitimate, sows divisions and “unfortunately produces rifts and tensions” in the Catholic community.
China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951. Worship is allowed only in state-backed churches, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to the pope.
An agreement under which the Vatican was given an opportunity to give its tacit approval on new bishops broke down last year.
Pope Benedict has made improving relations with China a priority of his foreign policy, but a key stumbling block has been the Vatican’s insistence on the pope’s right to appoint bishops, as he does elsewhere in the world. Beijing’s communist rulers see it as interference by a foreign entity in Chinese affairs.
Beijing also objects to the Vatican’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan, although the Holy See has indicated it is willing to move its embassy to the mainland should formal ties be restored.
The Vatican said Monday that “an episcopal ordination without papal mandate is directly opposed to the spiritual role of the supreme pontiff and damages the unity of the church.”
“If it is desired that the church in China be Catholic, the church’s doctrine and discipline must be respected,” it added.
Shiyin, who risks automatic excommunication, had been informed for some time that he was unacceptable to the Holy See as a bishop “for proven and very grave reasons,” it said.
The Vatican did list the reasons, but they are presumably linked to his role as vice chairman of the Patriotic Association, the official name of the state-backed Catholic church.

Pope praises Jesus in first tweet

POPE Benedict XVI wrote a message on Twitter overnight praising Jesus and announcing the launch of a new Vatican website in the first “tweet” by a leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

“Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI,” wrote the Pope, using his formal name in Latin – the Vatican’s official language.

The Vatican has embraced social media in recent months, launching popular Facebook and YouTube pages and courting bloggers as it tries to get the church’s message out to a wider and more youthful audience.

The church also used a website to receive notifications of purported miracles attributed to late Pope John Paul II and is launching an e-learning initiative to address the problem of child abuse by priests.

The web portal is set to be formally launched tomorrow.

It will provide news and pictures from the Vatican’s radio and television stations and its official newspaper, Osservatore Romano.

The portal will initially be in English and Italian with plans to include a third language, probably Spanish, after the summer.

Abusers must face justice, says Vatican

PRIESTS suspected of child-abuse sex crimes should be turned over to the authorities and face legal action, the Vatican says in a letter to bishops on anti-pedophilia guidelines.

The letter laid out provisional procedures against priest sex-abuse crimes and gave bishops a year to deliberate the proposals following a scandal that has spread across the globe and struck the Catholic Church at its core.

“Sex abuse of minors is not just a canonical delict but also a crime prosecuted by civil law … (and) the prescriptions of civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes to the designated authority should always be followed,” said the letter, released today.

“The guidelines … seek to protect minors and to help victims in finding assistance and reconciliation.”

The letter said it was up to bishops to notify the authorities in the case of a suspected pedophile priest.

The letter was published in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish, and urged bishops to ensure the Church gives “spiritual and psychological assistance” to victims and their families.

But the letter was dismissed before publication by a US victims’ group, Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which called for internationally-binding policies instead of guidelines.

“We are very disappointed,” said David Clohessy of SNAP, adding that the guidelines were “belated and very grudging”.

“As an absolute minimum there should be a global no-tolerance policy. Fundamentally, the reason that Church officials ignore, conceal and mishandle sex crimes is because they can.”

The Vatican has come under severe pressure in recent years over pedophilia and the scandal of child-abuser priests peaked last year with a string of high-profile revelations in Belgium, Germany and Ireland.

The Holy See has been accused of being slow to out perverse priests.

Last month, Amnesty International said the Vatican was still failing to meet its international obligations to protect children.


49 detained in raid on China underground church

BEIJING—An advocacy group and local official say Chinese police have detained 49 leaders of the underground Protestant church in a central province.

The U.S.-based China Aid Association says all three floors of a church building were searched and property seized during Tuesday’s raid on a religious education seminar.

An official with the Weishi county religious affairs bureau in Henan province where the raid took place confirmed Wednesday the detentions but gave no details. Like many Chinese officials, he gave only his surname, Sun.

China requires all religious groups to accept Communist Party oversight. This month, a U.S. commission listed China as one of the worst violators of religious freedoms. Beijing hostly denies the charge.