Saturday, April 25, 2009

"..stricken with the scourge of epidemics..."

"I have wanted you here, to tell you that you must now all enter right away into the safe refuge of my Immaculate Heart. Just as Noah, in the name of the Lord, called into the ark those who were to be saved from the flood, so now must you, my littlest child, in the name of your heavenly Mother, call into the refuge of my Immaculate Heart those who must be protected, defended and saved from the great trial which has now come for the Church and for all humanity...My Church will be shaken by the violent wind of apostasy and unbelief, as he who sets himself against Christ will enter into its interior, thus bringing to fulfillment the horrible abomination which has been prophesied to you in Holy Scripture. Humanity will know the bloody hour of its chastisement: it will be stricken with the scourge of epidemics, of hunger and of fire; much blood will be spilt upon your roads; war will spread everywhere, bringing down upon the world incommensurable devastation...You, my poor children, must all bear the weight of great sufferings and of unspeakable sorrows, so that the great miracle of divine justice and mercy may be manifest to all...From this place, where I appeared as the Woman Clothed with the sun, to be your light in these dark years of the great tribulation, I bless you all in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Our Lady to Fr. Stephano Gobbi, Fatima, Portugal, March 15, 1993).
Our Lord Jesus told Saint Faustina: "My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; urge all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls - no one have I excluded!" (Divine Mercy in My Soul, Notebook III, 1182).


Anonymous said...

There are already 60 dead in Mexico City alone and 1,000 suspected cases. Meanwhile, in New York City, there is a possible - nothing definite yet -outbreak of the Swine Flu:

Possible Swine Flu Outbreak At NYC Prep School

Department Of Health Officials Testing 75 Students At St. Francis Preparatory School In Queens

As many as 75 students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens got sick on Thursday. More got sick on Friday. What health officials want to know is was it swine flu or something more benign.

There are mounting fears about a deadly swine flu virus that is reported to have killed as many as 60 people in Mexico, one that health officials fear has already seeped into the United States.

St. Francis Prep was ordered to cancel an evening program Friday night because the New York City Department of Health isn't sure what made students sick Thursday and Friday with flu-like symptoms.

"I just saw lot a lot of kids lined up along the wall near the nurse's office," sophomore Kelsey Dittmeir said.

If it's the flu, the question is what kind of flu? And could it be the unique strain suspected in 20 recent deaths?

Tests are underway.

"It could be a strain we've seen before. It could be the regular flu," Dr. Ross Weiss said. "It could be flu B that happens late in the year. It could be any of those so we really can't speculate at this point. That's why we were very anxious to get samples to the lab and get them tested so we can find out what we are dealing with."

If it's the new strain of swine flu it could be a problem. Most cases have been reported in Mexico, where schools, museums and public gathering places have been closed.

Eight patients have also turned up in California and Texas, although their symptoms have been mild.

Students told CBS 2 HD they plan on getting tested over the weekend. One senior we spoke to said she left school Thursday before her fellow classmates got ill.

"My chest just hurts and I have shortness of breath. My ears were hurting me earlier but they are okay now. My head is still in and out," Noel Alexandria said.

Added Dr. Weiss: "There were people tonight interviewing students and we'll be here tomorrow. And when we get the test results that will dictate what our next steps are."

The city hopes to identify those symptoms as flu it has seen before. If the tests come back negative they will be sent down to the Centers for Disease Control. So far, officials have been told all the cases have shown mild symptoms.

Michael Cole said...

According to the head of the World Health Organization, the Mexico swine flu has "pandemic potential":

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization says the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the United States could develop into a pandemic.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan says the outbreak involves "an animal strain of the H1N1 virus, and it has pandemic potential."

Chan says it is too early to say whether a pandemic will actually occur.

The global health body has advised countries around the world to look out for similar outbreaks following the discovery of related strains on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border.

At least 62 people in Mexico have died from pneumonia after contracting a flu-like virus. WHO says some tested positive for a strain that sickened at least seven in the southwestern U.S. No deaths have been reported in the U.S.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization has called an emergency meeting of experts Saturday to consider declaring an international public health emergency over the swine flu outbreak believed to have killed dozens of people in Mexico and sickened at least seven in the U.S.

It is the first time the WHO's Director-General Margaret Chan has convened such a crisis panel since the procedure was created almost two years ago, spokesman Gregory Hartl said.

The committee may decide Saturday that the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency, and if so, whether WHO should consider measures including travel advisories, trade restrictions and border closures.

The global body's flu pandemic alert level is now set to phase three — meaning there is no or very limited risk of a new virus spreading from human to human.

The committee "will be asked, 'should we raise the alert level to phase four or phase five,' depending on their appreciation of how far the virus has spread," Hartl said.

An increased alert level was considered likely, as initial evidence from the outbreak in Mexico indicates the virus has spread between people. Hartl said, however, that a decision would not be made Saturday.

At least 62 people have died from severe pneumonia caused by a flu-like illness in Mexico, according to WHO. Some of those who died are confirmed to have contracted a type of swine flu known as A/H1N1. That particular flu variant has not previously been seen in pigs or humans, though other types of H1N1 have.

"This is a very high concern for us as the world's global health organization," Hartl said.

The current seasonal flu vaccine is not believed to offer any protection against this new swine flu. But anti-viral drug Tamiflu appears to be fully effective against the H1N1 virus, and "Mexico and the United States already have large stocks of Tamiflu," Hartl said.

The virus has caused alarm in Mexico, where more than 1,000 people have been sickened. Authorities there have closed schools, museums, libraries and theaters in a bid to contain the outbreak.

WHO, which has been monitoring the situation since Thursday, said 12 of the Mexican cases have been confirmed as genetically identical to a swine flu virus detected in California.

U.S. authorities said seven people were infected with swine flu in California and Texas, and all recovered.

"We do seem to have found incidents of the same illness, which is swine influenza A/H1N1, on both sides of the border in various locations," Hartl said.

WHO has sent experts to Mexico to monitor the situation there, and asked countries to report any unusual flu outbreaks.

"We are at the beginning of the outbreak here, and there are a lot of things that we still don't know," Hartl said.

"We're not sure exactly of the transmission routes, where the initial infection came from, how efficient it is in transmitting," he said. WHO is also questioning "why no one has died in the United States so far whereas there have been confirmed deaths in Mexico."

WHO chief Chan broke off a visit to Washington, where she was to meet with U.S. officials, to oversee WHO's response to the crisis from its Strategic Health Operation Center in Switzerland.

The virus appears to cause flu-like symptoms that can develop into severe pneumonia, Hartl said, urging anyone to visit a doctor if they had been to affected areas and were feeling symptoms.

"You would want to take the same kind of precautions that you would do with pneumonia and an influenza-like illness," he said.

Michael Cole said...

And things just keep getting worse:

Free Speech Concerns Ignored as "Hate Crimes" Bill Passes Fed. Judiciary Committee

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2009 ( - A divided House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to send a federal "hate crimes" bill to the House, after free speech advocates failed to secure protection for pastors who might preach biblically-based injunctions against homosexual activity.

In a motion almost completely ignored by the mainstream media, the Judiciary Committee voted 15-12 to allow the hotly contested H.R. 1913, known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009, to go forward.

The measure would grant the federal government a new authority to prosecute any violent crime anywhere in the country that is perceived to be "motivated by prejudice" against a number of protected characteristics, including "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."

Christian leaders are particularly concerned that attempts to secure the right to speak against the homosexual lifestyle and its normalization have failed. Among many rejected proposals for the bill was one offered by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, which would have included a clause ensuring ministers could not be prosecuted for abetting a "hate crime" because they preached the Christian perspective on homosexuality.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the Congressman who introduced the bill, claimed the bill posed no danger to Christian free speech, saying that it "only applies to bias-motivated violent crimes and does not impinge public speech or writing in any way." Section 10 of H.R. 1913 states: "Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution."

Yet free speech advocates have pointed out that under current U.S. law, any action that "abets, counsels, commands, [or] induces" a perceived "hate crime" shares in the guilt of that crime, and is therefore punishable.

The danger posed by the "hate crime" legislation to Christian ministers was confirmed when Congress considered practically identical legislation in 2007. Then, Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., admitted during a hearing on the measure that it could be used to prosecute pastors for preaching the biblical perspective on homosexuality, given the perception that it may have "induced" a later hate crime.

"Just passing the legislation is going to result in pastors saying, 'I'm not going to address this issue,'" the American Center for Law and Justice's Jay Sekulow told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

In a Christian Post column Tuesday, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins issued a point-by-point explanation of the unprecedented dangers presented by the "hate crimes" bill.

Perkins points out that H.R. 1913 violates the 14th amendment, which provides equal protection under the law, "by protecting some victims more than others."

"Do we somehow care less about a victim who is violently assaulted because of a robbery or personal dispute than we do about a victim who is assaulted because they belong in a federally protected category?" Perkins asked.

Also, says Perkins, the bill essentially "punishes thoughts and not just actions."

"Advocates of the bill deny this because it only authorizes prosecution of someone who 'willfully causes bodily injury' or 'attempts to cause bodily injury,'" he said. "But such acts are already crimes under state law. What converts the acts targeted by this bill into a federal offense are the thoughts or opinions of the perpetrator alone.

"Since every violent crime manifests some sort of 'hate,' it makes more sense to think of this as a 'thought crimes' law." (To read Perkins' full column:

Matt Barber, a lawyer with the Liberty Counsel, commented: "As has proved to be true in both Europe and Canada, this Orwellian piece of legislation is the direct precursor to freedom killing and speech chilling 'hate speech' laws.

"It represents a thinly veiled effort to ultimately silence - under penalty of law - morally, medically and biblically based opposition to the homosexual lifestyle," said Barber.

According to House majority leader Steny Hoyer, the measure is due for consideration by the full House next week.

How can we honestly expect God's continued blessing on a society which is embracing homosexuality, abortion and Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

It is not blessing we will receive but chastisement.

Matlee said...

Masses Canceled in Mexico City

Authorities Attempt to Contain Flu Outbreak

MEXICO CITY, APRIL 26, 2009 ( The Archdiocese of Mexico City canceled all Mass Sunday in accordance with the government's attempt to contain a deadly outbreak of swine flu.

On Saturday, the nation's Ministry of Health announced school closings in three Mexican states until May 6, and that museums, libraries, movie theaters, restaurants and places of worship in the mountain capital would be closed until further notice.

In a statement published later in the evening, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, the archbishop of Mexico City, asked that priests suspend all Masses without exception Sunday. The move is without precedent in the city and surrounding municipalities, which has a total population exceeding 22 million.

The cardinal also published a prayer directed to Our Lady of Guadalupe that asks for her intercession to "quickly overcome this epidemic that has come to affect our nation."

"Cover us with your cloak," the prayer pleads, "free us from this illness."

Mexico City is the epicenter of a global swine flu outbreak, which is suspected to have caused some 86 deaths since mid April. Some 1,400 people have affected by the virus.

Several cases have been confirmed in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, but no deaths have been reported.

Travel in and out of Mexico has not been restricted, but several governments have taken precautions such as screening travelers for flu-like symptoms.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern."

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