Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2013 Contents A46
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3RD 4TH & 5TH FORMS
FLORIDA---A group of
atheists unveiled a
monument to their
non-belief in God yes-
terday to sit alongside
a granite slab that lists
the Ten Command-
ments in front of the
As a small group of
Christian country music
and waved "Honk for
Jesus" signs, the atheists
celebrated what they
believe is the first athe-
ist monument allowed
on government property
in the United States.
"When you look at
this monument, the
first thing you will
notice is that it has a
function. Atheists are
about the real and the
physical, so we selected
to place this monument
in the form of a bench,"
said David Silverman,
president of American
It also serves another
function---a counter to
the religious monument
that the New Jersey-
based group wanted
removed. It s a case of
if you can t beat em,
sued to try to have the
stone slab with the Ten
away from the court-
house lawn in this rural,
Florida town best
known for the prison
that confines death-row
inmates. The Commu-
nity Men s Fellowship
erected the monument
in what s described as
a free speech zone. Dur-
ing mediation on the
case, the atheist group
was told it could have
its own monument, too.
"We re not going to
let them do it without
a counterpoint," Silver-
man said. "If we do it
without a counterpoint,
it s going to appear very
strongly that the gov-
endorses one religion
over another, or---I
should say---religion in
general over non-reli-
About 200 people
attended the unveiling.
VATICAN CITY---Pope Francis
told prelates yesterday to shun
the "logic of human power,"
pressing his campaign to root
out corruption and other
wrongdoing from the Vatican s
scandal-tainted power struc-
The admonition came a day
after the latest embarrassment
for the Vatican hierarchy---the
arrest by Italian authorities of a
Vatican accountant, in a probe
of an alleged attempt by the
prelate to secure the smuggling
of 20 million euros ($26 million)
in banknotes from Switzerland
into Italy. The Italian monsignor,
who was suspended a few weeks
earlier from his job in the Vat-
ican s finance office, is also under
investigation in a separate
money-laundering probe by
prosecutors in southern Italy.
Francis is making reforms
aimed at ensuring his papacy s
priorities, which include paying
more attention to the world s
poor and concentrating on cul-
tivating spiritual, not material,
wealth. He delivered a kind of
moral pep talk to church leaders,
including Vatican cardinals,
gathered in St Peter s Basilica
for an annual ceremony to wel-
come newly-made archbishops.
"Whenever we let our
thoughts, our feelings or the logic
of human power prevail, and we
do not let ourselves be taught
and guided by faith, by God, we
become stumbling blocks," the
pope said. "Faith in Christ is the
light of our life as Christians and
as ministers in the church."
Francis also put church leaders
on guard against "the peril of
thinking in worldly terms."
Earlier in the week, the pope
established a commission to look
into the Vatican bank, which has
long had a reputation as a largely
unregulated financial centre ripe
for exploitation as a tax haven
or even for money laundering.
The arrest of Monsignor Nunzio
Scarano, along with an Italian
financial broker and a former
member of an Italian paramil-
itary police s security agency,
highlighted the urgency to ensure
that Vatican s financial apparatus
is above board.
The Vatican s curia, or
bureaucratic administration, is
notorious for rivalries among
power-seeking factions. Francis
received an authoritative show
of support Saturday from an
Italian cardinal, Velasio de Paolis,
a retired chief of the Vatican s
The Vatican "must clean
house," the cardinal told Rome
daily Il Messaggero in an inter-
view. "Pope Francis is right to
insist on this," he was quoted as
saying. The pope s reform drive
is "valid for all believers, clergy
or non-clergy, with a red skull-
cap or without a red skullcap,"
de Paolis said, referring to the
crimson headgear that cardinals
De Paolis said "churchmen
ought to be saints, but some-
times they are not." Referring to
the pope s determination to clean
up the Vatican bank, de Paolis
said of Francis: "He s not ingen-
uous, he knows that the church
must have wealth to help those
who don t have it. "
Since cardinals elected Francis
as pope in March, the pontiff,
a Jesuit from Argentina, has
eschewed showy symbols of
Vatican wealth, refusing, among
other decisions, to reside in the
Apostolic Palace. He lives in a
hotel on the Vatican grounds,
and except for religious cere-
monies, wears a simple white
cassock instead of fancy robes.
Pope warns church leaders
against seeking power
Pope Francis holds the pastoral staff after he bestowed the
Pallium to 35 archbishops, in St Peter's Basilica, at the
Vatican, yesterday. The Pallium is a woolen shawl
symbolising the archbishops' bond to the pope. AP PHOTO
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