Monday, 24 June 2013

News Report: Pope "Snub" Of Concert Stuns Cardinals, Sends Signal

Pope Francis
Credit: Reuters
A last-minute no-show by Pope Francis at a concert where he was to have been the guest of honour has sent another clear signal that he is going to do things his way and does not like the Vatican high life.
The gala classical concert on Saturday was scheduled before his election in March. But the white papal armchair set up in the presumption that he would be there remained empty.
Minutes before the concert was due to start, an archbishop told the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries that an "urgent commitment that cannot be postponed" would prevent Francis from attending.
The prelates, assured that health was not the reason for the no-show, looked disoriented, realising that the message he wanted to send was that, with the Church in crisis, he - and perhaps they - had too much pastoral work to do to attend social events.
"It took us by surprise," said one Vatican source on Monday. "We are still in a period of growing pains. He is still learning how to be pope and we are still learning how he wants to do it."
"In Argentina, they probably knew not to arrange social events like concerts for him because he probably wouldn't go," said the source, who spoke anonymously because he is not authorised to discuss the issue.
The picture of the empty chair was used in many Italian papers, with Monday's Corriere della Sera newspaper calling his decision "a show of force" to illustrate the simple style he wants Church officials to embrace.
Since his election on March 13, Francis, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, has not spent a single night in the opulent and spacious papal apartments.
He has preferred to live in a small suite in a busy Vatican guest house, where he takes most meals in a communal dining room and says Mass every morning in the house chapel rather than the private papal chapel in the Apostolic Palace.
The day before the concert, Francis said bishops should be "close to the people" and not have "the mentality of a prince".
On Saturday, while the concert was in progress in an auditorium just metres (yards) away, Francis was believed to be working on new appointments for the Curia, the Vatican's troubled central administration.
The administration was held responsible for some of the mishaps and scandals that plagued the eight-year reign of Pope Benedict before he resigned in February.
Francis inherited a Church struggling to deal with priests' sexual abuse of children, the alleged corruption and infighting in the Curia, and conflict over the running of the Vatican's scandal-ridden bank.
Benedict left a secret report for Francis on the problems in the administration, which came to light when sensitive documents were stolen from the pope's desk and leaked by his butler in what became known as the "Vatileaks" scandal.
The Vatican source said he expected Francis to make major changes to Curia personnel by the end of the summer.
Anger at the mostly Italian prelates who run the Curia was one of the reasons why cardinals chose the first non-European pope for 1,300 years.
The key appointment will be the next secretary of state, sometimes referred to as the Vatican's prime minister, to succeed the Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who has been widely blamed for the failings of the Curia.

Article: Rupture 2015!

By Jaye Gaskia

 “Every generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission; fulfill it, or betray it”…….Frantz Fanon

“There is one Army stronger than all Armies in the world; that is an Idea whose time has come”……Victor Hugo

How do we begin? Where do we start from? Rupture! There idea, and materiality, that is, tangible reality of Rupture; by which we mean the historically intense process of radical break [with certain essentially detrimental parts], as well as radical continuity [with certain other equally essential enhancing parts] with our historical march as a people and nation.

Since I do not intend to be dense, let me explain. Rupture in the context in which it is being used here, describes the very essence and core character of a revolutionary moment, occurrence and process. It is used in the sense by which a revolution entails a very radical break in and with certain processes that have come to previously define the life of a nation and people. So the old society, or more appropriately the old way of running the society is overthrown and supplanted by new ways of organizing society.

But it also connotes and includes the process, equally intense of continuity with certain traditions, in particular traditions of resistance, from the old society, and the old ways of organizing society.

In our specific national, that is Nigeria context, Rupture will connote on the one hand, the very intense and urgent process of radical and apparently sudden break with the unwholesome traditions of leadership and governance by our failed thieving, treasury looting ruling class [all its factions inclusive]. These areas of national life with which we shall need to break with radically include the culture of sleaze, fraud, and corruption; the culture of inept and incompetent governance; the culture of the perpetration and perpetuation of improvisation of the people and underdevelopment of the nation [in particular underdevelopment and underutilization of its human and material resources]; and the culture of exclusion, marginalization and exploitation of the immense majority of citizens, the subordinate classes of our society.

Rupture will also connote on the other hand, the process of radical, intensified, and modified continuity with the humanizing traditions and culture of struggle and resistance against injustice and oppression; and for social justice and equity; for an inclusive experience of citizenship; for the building of an inclusive, and socially just and equitable nation; for the radical redistribution of national wealth etc.

Rupture 2015, is thus the political and revolutionary project to build up the momentum as we approach the 2015 general elections, that will enable us to set the stage for achieving this dialectical, that is inter connected and mutually reinforcing processes of radical break and continuity.

Rupture 2015 is a project to ginger, awaken, and actively mobilise ourselves to ensure that we build up sufficient social momentum to influence decisively the processes leading to, and culminating in the 2015 general elections, in a manner that allows us through the 2015 general elections to challenge, shake, demystify, and eventually bring down and supplant the summit of unaccountable, opaque, lootocratic, and increasingly unrepresentative power of the nation’s corrupt treasury looting and dependent ruling class.
It is in this sense that elections [that is very intensely class contested elections] and the electoral process can assume the character of an incipient and emergent revolutionary process; ‘election as revolution’.

Is there a potential for this kind of phenomenon to happen in our country? Yes there is. The crisis engendered by the annulment of the June 12 presidential elections of 1993, and the struggle for the qualified restoration of that mandate was one such historical instance.

A more recent, and far more historically significant and potentially decisive such process was the January Uprising of 2012, the Ten Days that shook Nigeria, and the entrenched establishment to its very foundations.
The good thing is that the radicalising experience of the January Uprising is still fresh, and the generation radicalised by it is still an emergent political force.

But if we are to achieve the political and socio-economic objective of Rupture 2015; then we will have to undertake the following processes:

·First, we shall need to continue to deepen, and enhance our daily resistance against the injustices in our society, and the trends towards as well as the deleterious consequences of the governance ineptitude, administrative incompetence, and greed driven light fingeredness of our treasury looting ruling class. Every act of theirs that threaten our existence, and tends to further impoverish us and make us insecure, we must continue to resist and mobilize against.
·Second, we must build explicitly political platforms [#DPSR]that we must utilize in converting our anguish into anger; and our anger into political action; which politically challenges the claim to power of the ruling elites. This political platforms and formations must be independent of the political parties and formations of the ruling elites; as well as being autonomous of the crippling domination of individual political heavyweights [alias ‘Godfathers and Godmothers’] of the ruling elites.
·Third, it is incumbent on us to ensure that we consciously mobilize as many Nigerians as are qualified to vote to register to vote, that is to be on the electoral roll/voters register. We must particularly target the millions of Nigerians who have never bothered with the electoral process in the past, inclusive of the many millions who have just come of age. We must target the demographics of youth and women; majority of those radicalized by the January Uprising. In this sense an integral part of this quest must be to reach every Occupy Nigeria activist, and seek to convince them to become activists and organisers for the Great Historic Political Challenge of Rupture 2015.
·Fourth, it is one thing to get registered as a voter, it is quite another, to come out to vote. It will therefore be equally important and incumbent on us to get as many registered voters to come out to actually vote as possible.
·Fifth, we must reach out to Nigerians, organise and mobilise them with a new vision of inclusive and shared national prosperity; inclusive citizenship; and uplifting national greatness. We shall then need to support and accompany this vision, with an alternative and radical program for social emancipation of our people, and the national liberation of our country. Such a program will be built essentially around a massive project of ensuring equity and access to basic social infrastructures and services. A project that will require massive investment in social capital, in the provision and rebuilding of infrastructure, and services; focused on overcoming the ingrained deficits in energy supply and access, affordable and accessible housing, affordable and accessible roads and transportation, affordable and accessible functional education and quality healthcare, achieving food security and food sovereignty, industrial revival and rejuvenation of economic processes and activities, the diversification of the fundamental basis of the economy, and the prudent, transparent and accountable utilization of the nation’s resources, necessarily including the vigorous and exemplary tackling, through severe punishment of corruption [past and present], waste and leakage.

For example there is no reason why with a cumulative solid minerals development fund of over N800bn we have not been able to achieve a viable and commercially profitable solid minerals sector of the economy. Nor is there any reason why with a cumulative N400bn ecological fund, we have not been able to put processes in place to tackle and reverse ecological and environmental devastation.

There is equally no reason why any government which has available to it in one year alone, and external reserve of $48bn should not be able to undertake, with just this amount, and without spending new savings; a massive transformation of the national economy through massive investment in basic infrastructure and services [including safety nets and social protection/security]; while simultaneously creating millions of sustainable jobs, and therefore tackling the joblessness, hopelessness, poverty, and alienation that fuels insecurity and crime.

If we want to make the 2015 general elections qualitatively different; if we want that election to make a qualitative difference in our personal and collective lives; then we must be prepared ourselves to make a difference on the road towards 2015; we must be prepared and ready to become political activists and politically active in the search for, and building of the alternative platform, party, program, and social emancipatory and national libratory vision to TAKE BACK NIGERIA.

We are in the era of global crisis and global resistance, we must take advantage of the globally altering balance of social [class] forces; we must take urgent, immediate and active steps to Seize The time, Seize The Moment, and Take a Giant Leap Forward.

The greatest obstacles to our realization of our self emancipation; to our realization of the goal and objective of Rupture 2015 however will not only be the frantic and deadly opposition and backlash from the ruinous thieving elites we seek to unseat and dethrone; it will also be our ingrained lack of self confidence, and the large dose of self doubt. They say to us that we lack the capacity to build the necessary organization and momentum to achieve such historic tasks and duties. And we believe them and internalize these resulting in self doubt. So we go ahead and say to ourselves that we actually lack the capacity.

Well guess what? We made the January Uprising! How can we lack the capacity to set ourselves free and by so doing liberate our nation? How can we doubt our own abilities so much that we are prepared to rely on elements of the ruling class, and their organizations, as the vehicles for our liberation; the same elements that have occupied the political space, and used their occupation to mine our national treasury to the point of exhaustion over the last three decades? How can those who have played decisive roles in our national decline be expected to be the ones to lead us out of this hell?

We can make the 2015 general elections a decisive one for our nation, and the trajectory of our national history. We can build up the momentum of popular mobilization such that we change and transform the dynamics of that election in our favour. We can build a mass and popular political movement, which can transform the electoral process into a revolutionary contestation; and an electoral victory into the inauguration of a popular democratic revolution. We can get people out to register to vote, and get them out to vote; we can provide them with a real alternative; and we can then truly make our votes count.

This is a viable path to popular victory, a possible road to popular democratic power, it is a road whose abandonment maybe to our own peril.

Rupture 2015? Yes we can rupture the vice grip of this inept and corrupt thieving ruling elites on power, and consequently on our socio-economic life as a nation and people.

(Visit:; Follow @jayegaskia & @protesttopower; Interact on FB: Take Back Nigeria & Jaye Gaskia; #DPSR)