Friday, November 14, 2008

ANDALIMAN

Teks dan Foto: Charlie M. Sianipar

Sebagian daerah di Tano Batak menyebutnya intir intir. Bahasa Kerennya Zanthoxylum acanthopodium. Tanpa andaliman, masakan khas Batak seperti naniarsik, naniura dll akan terasa tidak lengkap.

Tumbuhan ini belum dibudidayakan, kebanyakan tumbuh liar ditepi hutan yang semakin menipis. Dari daerah tapanuli dikirim ke kota kota besar di Indonesia.

Di Jakarta dapat ditemukan di Pasar Senen.


In this photo: Bona ni ANDALIMAN


Thursday, November 13, 2008

TOBA LAKE AT THE DAWN

Serenity at the dawn in Toba lake Sumatera Indonesia. Photo: Jenriko Silalahi, Jakarta

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FINAL DECLARATION OF CATHOLIC MUSLIM FORUM IN VATICAN



VATICAN CITY, 7 NOV 2008 (VIS) -

Made public yesterday afternoon was the final declaration of participants in the First Seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum, which took place in Rome from 4 to 6 November on the theme: "Love of God, Love of Neighbour".

Each of the two sides in the meeting was represented by 24 participants and five advisers who discussed the two great themes of "Theological and Spiritual Foundations" and "Human Dignity and Mutual Respect". Points of "similarity and of diversity emerged, reflecting the distinctive specific genius of the two religions" the English-language declaration says.

1. "For Christians the source and example of love of God and neighbour is the love of Christ for His Father, for humanity and for each person" reads the first of the fifteen points of the declaration. "Love of neighbour cannot be separated from love of God, because it is an expression of our love for God. ... Grounded in Christ's sacrificial love, Christian love is forgiving and excludes no-one; it therefore also includes one's enemies".

"For Muslims ... love is a timeless transcendent power which guides and transforms human mutual regard. This love, as indicated by the Holy and Beloved Prophet Muhammad, is prior to the human love for the One True God".

2. "Human life is a most precious gift of God to each person. It should therefore be preserved and honoured in all its stages".

3. Human dignity is derived from the fact that every human person is created by a loving God and has been endowed with the gifts of reason and free will, and therefore enabled to love God and others. On the firm basis of these principles, the person requires the respect of his or her original dignity and his or her human vocation. Therefore, he or she is entitled to full recognition of his or her identity and freedom by individuals, communities and governments, supported by civil legislation that assures equal rights and full citizenship.

4. "We affirm that God's creation of humanity has two great aspects: the male and the female human person, and we commit ourselves jointly to ensuring that human dignity and respect are extended on an equal basis to both men and women.

5. "Genuine love of neighbour implies respect of the person and her or his choices in matters of conscience and religion. It includes the right of individuals and communities to practice their religion in private and public.

6. "Religious minorities are entitled to be respected in their own religious convictions and practices. They are also entitled to their own places of worship, and their founding figures and symbols they consider sacred should not be subject to any form of mockery or ridicule.

7. "As Catholic and Muslim believers, we are aware of the summons and imperative to bear witness to the transcendent dimension of life, through a spirituality nourished by prayer, in a world which is becoming more and more secularised and materialistic.

8. "We affirm that no religion and its followers should be excluded from society. Each should be able to make its indispensable contribution to the good of society, especially in service to the most needy.

9. "We recognise that God's creation in its plurality of cultures, civilisations, languages and peoples is a source of richness and should therefore never become a cause of tension and conflict.

10. "We are convinced that Catholics and Muslims have the duty to provide a sound education in human, civic, religious and moral values for their respective members and to promote accurate information about each other's religions.

11. "We profess that Catholics and Muslims are called to be instruments of love and harmony among believers, and for humanity as a whole, renouncing any oppression, aggressive violence and terrorism, especially that committed in the name of religion, and upholding the principle of justice for all.

12. "We call upon believers to work for an ethical financial system in which the regulatory mechanisms consider the situation of the poor and disadvantaged, both as individuals, and as indebted nations. We call upon the privileged of the world to consider the plight of those afflicted most severely by the current crisis in food production and distribution, and ask religious believers of all denominations and all people of good will to work together to alleviate the suffering of the hungry, and to eliminate its causes.

13. "Young people are the future of religious communities and of societies as a whole. Increasingly, they will be living in multi-cultural and multi-religious societies. It is essential that they be well formed in their own religious traditions and well informed about other cultures and religions.

14. "We have agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a permanent Catholic-Muslim committee to co-ordinate responses to conflicts and other emergency situations.

15. "We look forward to the second seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum to be convened in approximately two years in a Muslim-majority country yet to be determined".The declaration concludes by affirming that all the participants "expressed satisfaction with the results of the seminar and their expectation for further productive dialogue".

POPE BENEDICT XVI's ADDRESS AT CATHOLIC - MUSLIM FORUM


Pope Benedict XVI's Address at the Conclusion of the Catholic-Muslim Forum at the VaticanNovember 7, 2008


Dear Friends,


I am pleased to receive you this morning and I greet all of you most cordially. I thank especially Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran as well as Shaykh Mustafa CeriƦ and Mr Seyyed Hossein Nasr for their words. Our meeting takes place at the conclusion of the important Seminar organized by the "Catholic-Muslim Forum" established between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and representatives of the 138 Muslim leaders who signed the Open Letter to Christian leaders of 13 October 2007. This gathering is a clear sign of our mutual esteem and our desire to listen respectfully to one another. I can assure you that I have prayerfully followed the progress of your meeting, conscious that it represents one more step along the way towards greater understanding between Muslims and Christians within the framework of other regular encounters which the Holy See promotes with various Muslim groups. The Open Letter "A Common Word between us and you" has received numerous responses, and has given rise to dialogue, specific initiatives and meetings, aimed at helping us to know one another more deeply and to grow in esteem for our shared values. The great interest which the present Seminar has awakened is an incentive for us to ensure that the reflections and the positive developments which emerge from Muslim-Christian dialogue are not limited to a small group of experts and scholars, but are passed on as a precious legacy to be placed at the service of all, to bear fruit in the way we live each day.



The theme which you have chosen for your meeting "Love of God, Love of Neighbour: The Dignity of the Human Person and Mutual Respect" is particularly significant. It was taken from the Open Letter, which presents love of God and love of neighbour as the heart of Islam and Christianity alike. This theme highlights even more clearly the theological and spiritual foundations of a central teaching of our respective religions.


The Christian tradition proclaims that God is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:16). It was out of love that he created the whole universe, and by his love he becomes present in human history. The love of God became visible, manifested fully and definitively in Jesus Christ. He thus came down to meet man and, while remaining God, took on our nature. He gave himself in order to restore full dignity to each person and to bring us salvation. How could we ever explain the mystery of the incarnation and the redemption except by Love? This infinite and eternal love enables us to respond by giving all our love in return: love for God and love for neighbour. This truth, which we consider foundational, was what I wished to emphasize in my first Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, since this is a central teaching of the Christian faith. Our calling and mission is to share freely with others the love which God lavishes upon us without any merit of our own.


I am well aware that Muslims and Christians have different approaches in matters regarding God. Yet we can and must be worshippers of the one God who created us and is concerned about each person in every corner of the world. Together we must show, by our mutual respect and solidarity, that we consider ourselves members of one family: the family that God has loved and gathered together from the creation of the world to the end of human history.


I was pleased to learn that you were able at this meeting to adopt a common position on the need to worship God totally and to love our fellow men and women disinterestedly, especially those in distress and need. God calls us to work together on behalf of the victims of disease, hunger, poverty, injustice and violence. For Christians, the love of God is inseparably bound to the love of our brothers and sisters, of all men and women, without distinction of race and culture. As Saint John writes: "Those who say, I love God, and hate their brothers or sisters are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen" (1 Jn 4:20).


The Muslim tradition is also quite clear in encouraging practical commitment in serving the most needy, and readily recalls the "Golden Rule" in its own version: your faith will not be perfect, unless you do unto others that which you wish for yourselves. We should thus work together in promoting genuine respect for the dignity of the human person and fundamental human rights, even though our anthropological visions and our theologies justify this in different ways. There is a great and vast field in which we can act together in defending and promoting the moral values which are part of our common heritage. Only by starting with the recognition of the centrality of the person and the dignity of each human being, respecting and defending life which is the gift of God, and is thus sacred for Christians and for Muslims alike only on the basis of this recognition, can we find a common ground for building a more fraternal world, a world in which confrontations and differences are peacefully settled, and the devastating power of ideologies is neutralized.


My hope, once again, is that these fundamental human rights will be protected for all people everywhere. Political and religious leaders have the duty of ensuring the free exercise of these rights in full respect for each individual's freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. The discrimination and violence which even today religious people experience throughout the world, and the often violent persecutions to which they are subject, represent unacceptable and unjustifiable acts, all the more grave and deplorable when they are carried out in the name of God. Gods name can only be a name of peace and fraternity, justice and love. We are challenged to demonstrate, by our words and above all by our deeds, that the message of our religions is unfailingly a message of harmony and mutual understanding. It is essential that we do so, lest we weaken the credibility and the effectiveness not only of our dialogue, but also of our religions themselves.


I pray that the "Catholic-Muslim Forum", now confidently taking its first steps, can become ever more a space for dialogue, and assist us in treading together the path to an ever fuller knowledge of Truth. The present meeting is also a privileged occasion for committing ourselves to a more heartfelt quest for love of God and love of neighbour, the indispensable condition for offering the men and women of our time an authentic service of reconciliation and peace.


Dear friends, let us unite our efforts, animated by good will, in order to overcome all misunderstanding and disagreements. Let us resolve to overcome past prejudices and to correct the often distorted images of the other which even today can create difficulties in our relations; let us work with one another to educate all people, especially the young, to build a common future. May God sustain us in our good intentions, and enable our communities to live consistently the truth of love, which constitutes the heart of the religious man, and is the basis of respect for the dignity of each person. May God, the merciful and compassionate One, assist us in this challenging mission, protect us, bless us and enlighten us always with the power of his love.


Quoted from Website by Booklight, Inc. Copyright © 2008, Monastic Dialoguehttp://monasticdialog.com/n.php?id=61



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PRESIDEN AMERIKA KE 44: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA



Oleh: Petrus M. Sitohang


Barack Obama, anak seorang keturunan muslim Kenya dari seorang ibu warga kulit putih akhirnya terpilih menjadi Presiden Amerika Serikat ke 44 dalam pemilu tanggal 4 November 2008. Obama mencatat sejarah menjadi warga AS keturunan Afrika yang pertama terpilih menjadi presiden negara terkuat dunia tersebut. Obama saat ini berusia 47 tahun, menikah dengan Michelle LaVaughn Obama (44) dan memiliki dua puteri Malia 10 tahun dan Shasa 7 tahun.

Sampai catatan ini ditulis, menurut laporan CNN Obama telah memperoleh 338 electoral votes sementara saingannya John Mc Cain baru memperoleh 141. Jumlah electoral votes ini diperoleh dari 56,131,681 warga yang memilih Obama dan 51,162,108 orang yang memilih Mc Cain dari seluruh 50 negara bagian Amerika Serikat. Seorang calon presiden Amerika hanya memerlukan 270 electoral votes untuk terpilih menjadi presiden untuk periode selama 4 tahun.
Kemenangan Obama ini tidak mengejutkan. Selama masa kampanye jajak pendapat nasional menunjukkan Obama senantiasa unggul dari rivalnya John Mc Cain. Kampanye Obama selalu disambut meriah para pendukungnya dan berhasil menyemangati para pemilih pemula dan para pemilih independen untuk mendukung Obama. Presiden Obama akan didampingi oleh Wakil Presiden Joseph Biden, seorang rekan senator Obama di Senat dari Delaware yang juga mencatat sejarah sebagai wakil presiden Amerika Serikat yang beragama Katolik yang pertama.
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