Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Your new book is critical to religion, where dictates and doctrine are stronger than compassion and effort to serve. Did someone warn you against the eventual controversy caused by celebrating the Great Mother – or did you even warn yourself sometimes?

I always knew the potential for controversy in this book but I also thought that the feminine side of God is increasingly being recognized. People are no longer interested purely in religion, what matters now is personal faith. And you can see that this preoccupation is taking the lead in all nations despite the extremisms that, unfortunately, are more visible.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

The Witch of Portobello is also about a faith, religion and doubts. What is your relation to the religion and church? In spite of your Jesuit education you tend to kind of personal faith based on love…

I grew up, like almost all Brazilians, in a strictly Catholic family. Later, at the age of rebellion, I doubted about Catholicism, and felt that I must try something new. Then I became a hippie. During this time, I travelled a lot, met people of different backgrounds, and had learnt different paths to come closer to spirituality. After I did a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, I returned to the Catholic faith just because it is in my blood, not because it is the best religion.
I am a catholic, but I don’t think you can put God in a church. God is everywhere. All religions have advantages and disadvantages.
Furthermore I don’t think love is at odds with Christianity. Jesus message was above all a message of love to humanity.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Your new book, The Witch of Portobello, is critical to religion when doctrine is stronger than compassion and effort to serve. Did someone warn you against the eventual controversy caused by celebrating the Great Mother – or did you even warn yourself sometimes?

I always knew the potential for controversy in this book but I also thought that the feminine side of God is increasingly being recognized. People are no longer interested purely in religion, what matters now is personal faith. And you can see that this preoccupation is taking the lead in all nations despite the extremisms that, unfortunately, are more visible.

Book traces Paulo Coelho’s rise from rebel to bestseller

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – During the course of his life, Paulo Coelho spent time in a mental institution, wrote several popular songs and became one of world’s best-selling authors with novels like “The Alchemist”.

But according to biographer Fernando Morais, that doesn’t begin to tell the story of the author’s life.

“O Mago” (“The Wizard”), a new biography of Coelho, reveals the wild, sometimes dark, past of the Brazilian writer, Morais said.

“It has everything. Violence, sex, religion, rock and roll, Satanism. And it ends with redemption, because his dream of being a famous writer comes true,” Morais said at a news conference in Sao Paulo.

(..)

“Paulo had so many crazy experiences you almost can’t believe it,” Morais said. “I felt like Indiana Jones when I opened that chest.”

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To read the rest of the article , please go here.

To Digg the story, please go here.

Vatican: It’s OK to believe in aliens

Today while browsing through Digg, I found this curious article written by By ARIEL DAVID for the Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican’s chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

“How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?” Funes said. “Just as we consider earthly creatures as ‘a brother,’ and ‘sister,’ why should we not talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother’? It would still be part of creation.”

In the interview by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion “doesn’t contradict our faith” because aliens would still be God’s creatures. Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like “putting limits” on God’s creative freedom, he said.

The interview, headlined “The extraterrestrial is my brother,” covered a variety of topics including the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and science, and the theological implications of the existence of alien life.

To read the rest of the article, please go here.