Thursday, August 06, 2009

Swiss villagers want to reverse vows regarding glacier


Swiss Catholic villagers who have for centuries offered a sacred vow to God against the advancing ice mass of the Great Aletsch glacier now want to alter the vows.

The villagers' vow, established in 1678, is that the citizens of the mountain hamlets of Fiesch and Fieschertal would pledge to lead virtuous lives and in exchange, God would spare their homes and livelihoods from being swallowed by Europe's largest glacier as it expanded toward the valley with heavy winter snows, the Associated Press reported.

But the Aletsch is melting amid temperatures that are 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer than in the 19th century. The New York Times featured a picture of the nearby Rhone glacier , which also depicts diminished ice.

"We all know, and the Holy Father reminded us in his Easter message, that an unprecedented change in the climate is taking place," Rev Pascal Venetz said in his sermon to 100 people at the Ernerwald Chapel, where until modern times pious women were prohibited from wearing coloured underwear for fear of provoking the glacier.


FULL STORY @

Swiss now pray that glacier will stop shrinking (Google News, AP)

Praying (and stripping) for ice (New York Times)

Once again here is a tribute to the wonderful world of Catholicism. Honestly, you wouldn't want to be a boring reformer when you can have the inspection of pious womens' underwear as part of a Church tradition would you?

And I just love the "bargaining with God" vow.Even better is the request to the Pope to change the words. Whatever happened to the principle of subsidiarity? The words of the vow come from the needs of the village people surely.

However the text published here has left out the best part of the story. If you check the link to the New York Times report you can watch the video clip of Spencer Tunick doing one of his famous naked group shots on the diminishing Aletsch Glacier. I presume the participants included some of the pious women of the villages affected although the report does not tell us how much the glacier was provoked by all those naked bodies!!!!
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