Southern Religion

‘Appointment with death’ cards anger NZ elderly

Death date appointment card received by New Zealander Richard Lawson

Death-date appointment cards, once sold by California-based Ray Comfort’s Living Waters Web site, provoked outrage when they began showing up in the mail of elderly New Zealanders. At least one contacted the police. Joanne Carroll of The New Zealand Herald wrote:

The cards ask recipients to predict the date and time of their death and advise them to get in touch with evangelists to avoid going to hell.

Waiheke resident Marianne Taylor, 89, was shocked to receive an “appointment card” in the post last week. The card, published by, was addressed to her by name and asked her to fill in the date and time of her death.

Richard Lawson of North Shore City in Auckland, N.Z.

Liz Willis of the North Shore Times wrote:

Mr Comfort replied to an emailed request for comment, apologising for any offence caused by the card that he published in the United States years ago.

“We have published over 100 million gospel tracts and very rarely are people shocked by them. My intention was simply to remind those who read it, that all of us are going to die, and that God offers us the gift of everlasting life,” Mr Comfort says.

In his book, The Evidence Bible, Comfort urged the use of “fear of death” as a conversion tool:

Here is how to use the tool when speaking to an unsaved person: Let’s assume the average person dies at 70 years old. If you are 20 years old, you have just 2,500 weekends left to live. If you have just turned 30, you have just 2,000 weekends until the day you die. If you are 40 years old, you have only 1,500 weekends left. If you are 50 you have just 1,000 weekends and if you are 60, you have a mere 500 weekends left until the day death comes to you.

Comfort was born in New Zealand but his strategies are “something we don’t need in New Zealand,” one card recipient said.

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on ‘Appointment with death’ cards anger NZ elderly

Italian paramilitary police block sex abuse victims from Vatican

Natalie Sherman of the Boston Herald reported:

Two Massachusetts survivors of clergy sex abuse led fellow victims in a march toward the heart of the Vatican yesterday but were blocked from reaching St. Peter’s Square by Italian paramilitary police

Two people of the throng of about 100 protesters— which included 55 Italians from a notorious Catholic institute for the deaf in Verona, where dozens of students say they were abused by priests — were later permitted to leave letters and a dozen stones near the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square to mark a symbolic path so other survivors might know they have company in their suffering.

“This is the first time that a group of survivors this large has come together, and people have listened in Italy. In Italy! That’s success to me,” organizer Gary Bergeron, a former Lowell resident, told The Associated Press after the march.

Read the rest here.

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, Churches, Crime | , , | Comments Off on Italian paramilitary police block sex abuse victims from Vatican