To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
THOUGHTS TO PONDER
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.---RALPH WALDO EMERSON
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.---ALEXANDRE DUMAS
“It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones" --- Alexander Solzhenitsyn quotes (Russian novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature (1970), b.1918)
Only marriages which are faithful and open to the gift of life are "adequate to the grandeur and dignity of marital love," the Pope told young people at last weekend’s World Youth Day in Madrid.
Speaking to one and a half million people from all over the world, Pope Benedict said that God "many people to marriage, in which a man and a woman, in becoming one flesh, find fulfillment in a profound life of communion".
The remarks were seen as yet another robust defence of the Church's teaching on marriage.
Marriage, he told them was a "project for true love which is daily renewed and deepened by sharing joys and sorrows, one marked by complete self-giving".
"For this reason, to acknowledge the beauty and goodness of marriage is to realize that only a setting of fidelity and indissolubility, along with openness to God’s gift of life, is adequate to the grandeur and dignity of marital love," the Pope added.
He also warned them that "the dominant culture of relativism all around us has given up on the search for truth, even if it is the highest aspiration of the human spirit".
For this reason, he said, young people needed to "speak with courage and humility of the universal significance of Christ as the Saviour of humanity and the source of hope for our lives".
He said: "We are not the product of blind chance or absurdity; instead our life originates as part of a loving plan of God.
"To abide in his love, then, means living a life rooted in faith, since faith is more than the mere acceptance of certain abstract truths: it is an intimate relationship with Christ, who enables us to open our hearts to this mystery of love and to live as men and women conscious of being loved by God."
He encouraged those gathered there to be afraid "neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world".
The Pope has previously warned about the threats posed to marriage by alternative family forms, such as same-sex marriage.
And he has frequently spoken out about the dangers to religious freedom and the quest for truth resulting from what he has called "the dictatorship of relativism".
During his visit last year to the United Kingdom, the Pope warned about "aggressive secularism".
Speaking to an audience which included Queen Elizabeth, Pope Benedict said: "Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate.
*There was a question on Bail and the Judge related that someone can bail himself or hire a "bailman" and of course hiring one has fees.
*One asked on computer crime as his e-mail had been hacked and that e-mail address sent many different e-mails to different people and the person wanted to clarify if there was A NEED TO PAY THE POLICE OFFICERS ANY CASH for the investigation.
-----Ans: It's the DUTY of the police officers or the civil servants to do it for FREE. If one asks for cash do not give anything or you can make/file a complaint to the Police Station Head or any higher ranking officer. It's bribery and is a serious offence in Thailand.
* If the court gave judgement on Impeachment but there's no arrest.
-----Ans. If offenders did not appeal, the court will make an arrest warrant. Police has the duty to arrest the person. It also depends on the jurisdiction of the arresting Police officers. The Police should try their best to get the criminals and send them to jail.
*How long can a criminal case last?
-----Ans. It depends. On murder it's at least 15-20 to life. Police has 84 days detainment, first detention is three days and after three days it must be forwarded to court and in prison shouldn't be more than 84 days. A criminal case should last from three to five months but not exceeding six months in court.
* Condo owner running after payment
-----Ans. Reference is the Customer Protection Act. This doesn't need any lawyer but has to appeal to court.
* What are the chances of Foreigners in Thai-Foreigner cases?
-----Ans. The Thais and the Foreigners have the same rights.
*What if a foreigners is a target of extortion by a government employee or Police officer?
-----Ans. That's unfair treatment. One should make (file) a complaint to a higher rank Police officer or the National Police.
* What is the minimum price/amount/expense for the victims in filing a case?
------Ans. Criminal Case is free of charge. ( in suing the offender)
------Ans. In Civil Cases --one has to pay the court fee. This is also depending on how much money the complainant asks for damage. It's TWO PERCENT of the amount of cash one files for the case but not over 200, 000 baht. If you win the case, the defenders pay back the fees. http://www.thailawforum.com/New-Court-Fees.html
-------Ans. If there's no money (this needs proofs/evidences as no relatives to help, debts etc.) one can ask the court on Customer Protection Law. One can have exemption for the court fee.
*If any police officer asked you to be a witness (you have no lawyer, they changed their mind)
------Ans. Offenders by Police: as a SUSPECT you can ask for a Lawyer before questioning. You can also ask for an interpreter for documents.
*A friend borrowed money costing 400, 000 Baht with contract but not paying.
------Ans. Lender: amount more than 2000, 000 with evidence in writing and with signature.
* Bar fights with Thais or Foreigners
-----Ans. Criminal procedures will be applied.
*Discrimination issues, certain discos allow only specific persons
-----Ans. 20 years below are not allowed in some bars.
*Traffic Accidents; settled who has the most expensive vehicles.
------Ans. It depends on the structure of criminal offence and if someone is injured re: criminal offence
*Should a suspect sign any document which he doesn't understand?
------Ans. You don't have to answer any question if you don't have a lawyer to participate in the inquiry procedure.
A person shall be criminally liable only when such person commits an act intentionally. To commit an act intentionally is to do an act consciously. ( Section 59 of the Criminal Code)
* Section 295 " Whoever, cause injury to the other person in body or mind is said to commit bodily harm and shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding two years or fined not exceeding four thousand baht or both."
* Section 73 " A child not over ten years of age shall not be punished for committing what is provided by the law to be an offence."
----An act shall also include any consequence brought about by the omission to do an act which must be done in order to prevent such consequence.
2. The act shall constitute the completion of outer elements of the offence.
2.1 The Actor
2.1.1 The Direct Actor
2.1.2 The Indirect Actor
2.2 The Action
Any action shall be deemed a criminal act when it is done in the last manner.
2.3 The Object of the Action
* Section 288 " Whoever murdering the other person shall be punished with death, imprisonment for life, or imprisoned as from fifteen years to twenty years. "
* Section 334 " Any person dishonestly taking away the thing of another person or the thing which the other person is a co-owner is said to commit the offence of theft, shall be imprisoned not out of three years and fined not out of six thousand baht. "
3. The ACT shall be done under the INTENTION of the ACTOR.
* Section 59 " A person shall be criminally liable only when such person commits an act intentionally, except in case of the law provides that such person must be liable when such person commits an act by negligence, or except in case of the law clearly provides that such person must be liable even though such person commits an act unintentionally.
To commit an act unintentionally is to do an act consciously and at the same time the doer desired or could have foreseen the effect of such doing. If the doer does not know the facts constituting the elements of the offence, it can not be deemed that the doer desired or could have foreseen the effect of such doing. "
* Section 60 " Whenever any person intends to commit an act against a person, but the effect of the doing of such act occurs to another person through a slip, it shall be deemed that such person intentionally commits such act against the person who suffers from the bad effect of such doing."
3.1. The ACTUAL INTENTION
3.1.1 The desired effect intention
3. 1.2 The foreseeable effect intention
3.2 The LEGAL INTENTION ( Slip Intention)
* Section 297 " Whoever commits bodily harm, and thereby causing the victim to receive grievous bodily harm, shall be punished with imprisonment of six months to ten years.
Grievous bodily harm are follows:
1. Deprivation of the sight, deprivation of the hearing, cutting off the tongue or loss of the sense of smell.
2. Infirmity or illness causing the sufferer to be in severe bodily pain for over twenty days or to be unable to follow the ordinary pursuits for over twenty days.
A committed act without exercising such care as might be expected from a person under such condition and circumstances and the doer could exercise such care but did not do so sufficiently.
* Section 291 " Whoever doing the act by negligence and that act causing the other person to death, shall be imprisoned not out of ten years or fined not out of twenty thousand baht."
* Section 390 " Whoever causing bodily or mental harm to the other person by negligence, shall be imprisoned not out of one month or fined not out of one thousand baht or both. "
* Section 225 " Whoever causing fire by negligence and causing thing belonging to the other person to be damaged, or likely to cause damage to the life of the other person shall be imprisoned not out of seven years or fined not out fourteen. "
The effect of the act shall be related to the act. If there is no such act, the effect does not occur. It is said that such occurrence of the effect is related to the act. On the other hand,even there is no such act, the effect still occur, it can't be said that the effect is related to the act.
Though in the program it stated that it would start at half past one, the seminar fortunately started at exactly one in the afternoon as spectators were all set by the time. The first part talked on the objective of the project as well as the interesting issues in Thailand. Such as the laws that one should know. The speaker reiterated that the Thais and the Foreigners have the same rights and that Thailand is the land of equality regardless of nationalities without "scare"...maybe he meant fear. Attached are the photos of slides that were presented.
International Legal Obligation: The right to know, the right to justice, the right to reparation
It was a great opportunity for me to be part of the first ever seminar for Foreigners on Thai Laws held in Pattaya, City Hall last August 24, 2011. I got there at twenty past twelve and amazingly there were already a lot of people in the venue. The seminar was scheduled to start at one in the afternoon. The crowd was consisted mainly of men and of senior age. It was indeed a great idea of the Mayor and the court judges along with the sponsors to come up with the seminar as the topics are really important for the expats to be aware of especially in living in Thailand. It's commendable as well of them doing this service for free. I'd like to express my gratitude to the organizers of the event and hopefully as mentioned, there will be another seminar that will be held soon on Civil cases. Will surely look forward to it. Below are more info on the seminar details. I will share some insights and re-echo some topics of the event in another blog.
Panel: Chonburi Chief Judge Visit Sripibool and Presiding Judges from Chonburi Provincial Court
Moderator: American Drew Noyes, Managing Director PAPPA Co., Ltd. Law Office
Date: Wednesday, August 24th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Arrive: from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Out of Respect for the Judges: DRESS CODE STRICTLY ENFORCED
Smart Casual: No shorts, T-Shirts, low-cut blouses
NO RECORDING DEVICES ALLOWED! PHOTOGRAPHS APPROVED, BUT NO VIDEO or AUDIO TAPING.
Location: Pattaya City Hall
On North Pattaya Road Directly Opposite Tesco Lotus Superstore Main Conference Hall, Thappaya Room in Pattaya City Hall on the 4th Floor
Parking: In the parking garage behind the main build
Legal rights of foreigners in Thailand will be discussed in Pattaya at the upcoming seminar by a panel of presiding judges from Chonburi Provincial Court.
Chief Judge Visit Sripibool has instructed Presiding Judge Mahachai Srithongklang of Chonburi Provincial Court to organize a seminar in English to help foreigners in Thailand understand Thai law, the judicial system and their rights. This seminar will be held in cooperation with the Pattaya Administrative Organization in Pattaya City Hall.
Moderator for the Thai law seminar is American Drew Noyes, Managing Director of PAPPA Co., Ltd. Law office in Pattaya who will field questions about the Thailand Criminal Justice organizations and their powers, rights of an arrested person, bail in criminal and narcotic cases, plea of the accused, and sentencing guidelines. The judges will answer questions after giving an overview of the Criminal Justice organizations and their power. Additional topics include:
Chonburi Provincial Courts are stepping up their campaign to educate local expats on the finer points of the Thai Justice system.
Chonburi Provincial Courts are stepping up their campaign to educate local expats on the finer points of the Thai Justice system. In a recent press conference, Chonburi's Chief Judge, Visit Sriphiboon announced an upcoming seminar titled "Insight into the Criminal Proceedings for Adults in Thailand."The seminar takes place on August 24 in Pattaya.
“The seminar is part of our project to inform foreigners living in Thailand on the justice system and is aimed at providing useful information about where they can ask questions to further understand the legal system. We will also have judges on hand who deal with criminal cases to explain the methods with which legal judgements are made,” said Visit Sriphiboon.
ISSUE: What does the Church teach concerning moral conscience?
DISCUSSION:Moral conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. It is there that “man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey” (Gaudium et Spes, 16). In his conscience, man not only discovers the natural law (cf. Rom. 2:15) but encounters God Himself, the author of the law.
While the natural law written on our hearts teaches us the general, objective principles of the moral life, conscience applies the natural law to particular circumstances, enabling us to choose what is good and avoid what is evil (cf. Catechism, no. 1777).
While all of us have the right and duty to follow our consciences, it is likewise true that our consciences must be correctly formed, and that is truly a lifelong task.
In the formation of conscience, the Word of God is the light for our path (cf. Ps. 119:105); we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice (cf. Catechism, no. 1785). Further, in forming our consciences, we must be “guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church” (ibid.; cf. Dignitatis Humanae [DH] 14).
One of the principal documents of Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes (GS), devoted an entire paragraph (no. 16) to the subject of conscience. It is worth quoting in full:
Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies in observing this law, and by it he will be judged (cf. Rom. 2:15-16). His conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths. By conscience, in a wonderful way, that law is made known which is fulfilled in the love of God and of one’s neighbor (cf. Mt. 22:37-40; Gal. 5:14). Through loyalty to conscience Christians are joined to other men in the search for truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems which arise both in the life of individuals and from social relationships. Hence, the more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by the objective standards of moral conduct. Yet it often happens that conscience goes astray through ignorance which it is unable to avoid, without thereby losing its dignity. This cannot be said of the man who takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.
Listening to Conscience
Moral conscience, which helps us to make good choices in conformity with God’s plan for our lives, is a sign of our tremendous dignity as human persons created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen. 1:26-27). The Catechism points out, however, that we need “interiority” (i.e., adequate reflection, self-examination, etc.) in order to hear and follow the voice of conscience amidst the many distractions in our lives (cf. Catechism, no. 1779).
Conscience enables us to take responsibility for our actions. The judgment of conscience bears witness to the fact that we have made good choices, but also convicts us when we have made bad choices (i.e., committed sins), leading us to seek forgiveness: “We shall ... reassure our hearts before Him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything” (1 Jn. 3:19-20).
The Church has always affirmed that we must not deliberately act against the certain judgment of our consciences (cf. Catechism, nos. 1790, 1800). Saint Bonaventure, the great thirteenth-century Franciscan scholar and doctor of the Church, put it this way:
Conscience is like God’s herald and messenger; it does not command things on its own authority, but commands them as coming from God’s authority, like a herald when he proclaims the edict of the king. This is why conscience has binding force.
“If your eye is not sound ... how great is the darkness!” (Mt. 6:23) Yet it does not follow that every judgment of conscience is correct. “Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them” (Catechism, no. 1786). As mentioned in the above quote from Vatican II, it is possible that a judgment of one’s conscience may be erroneous through ignorance, and a person may not be at fault for acting on such a judgment. But even if there is no sin, the bad choice is still a disorder, and one must work to correct the errors of moral conscience (ibid., no. 1793).
Further, we are responsible for forming our consciences, allowing God’s Word to truly be a light for our path. When we do not respect the dignity of conscience -- when we do not seek what is true and good -- the conscience becomes increasingly blind and less capable of making sound moral judgments (cf. Mt. 6:22-23; Veritatis Splendor [VS] 63).
The Catechism (no. 1792) gives several examples of how conscience can go astray, identifying the following sources of errors of judgment in moral conduct:
—ignorance of Christ and His Gospel
—bad example of others
—enslavement to passions
—mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience
—rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching
—lack of conversion
—lack of charity
Conscience is our personal link to God’s law, and it must be distinguished -- often with the help of a confessor or spiritual director -- from our natural inclinations and “passions.” And deep down we know that as Catholics we are not acting with a “certain” conscience when we make choices known to be at odds with the Church’s moral teaching.
It is interesting to note that in discussing the “culture of death” in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (EV) (The Gospel of Life), Pope John Paul II also speaks, in an analogous sense, of the “moral conscience of society” (nos. 21-24). He speaks of the eclipse of the sense of God in our society and further teaches that, “when the sense of God is lost, there is also a tendency to lose the sense of man” (no. 21). In the area of human life issues such as contraception, abortion, suffering, poverty, euthanasia, etc., we witness on a societal level what happens to an individual who routinely ignores the truth of God and the truth of man: The distinction between good and evil is blurred, and eventually one may call “evil good and good evil” (Is. 5:20).
Yet, even in the case of extreme moral corruption on an individual or societal level, the voice of the Lord continues to beckon us to seek reconciliation and a fresh beginning (cf. EV 24).
The Truth That Sets Us Free
Any discussion of conscience has to take truth into account. After all, Jesus came “to bear witness to the truth” (Jn. 18:37). Vatican II’s Dignitatis Humanae (no. 8) emphasizes that the aim of religious freedom is to enable people to “form their own judgments in the light of truth.” But where is truth found? That same Vatican II declaration further provides:
In forming their consciences the faithful must pay careful attention to the sacred and certain teaching of the Church. For the Catholic Church is by the will of Christ the teacher of truth. It is her duty to proclaim and teach with authority the truth which is Christ and, at the same time, to declare and confirm by her authority the principles of the moral order which spring from human nature itself (DH 14).
Some Catholic commentators assert that a well-formed conscience and official Catholic teaching may come to opposite conclusions in moral matters. This opinion directly contradicts Catechism, no. 2039: “Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church.” A Catholic simply cannot claim to have a well-formed and well-informed conscience if he or she is ignorant of, misunderstands, or rejects outright God’s law and thus commits acts that the Church considers gravely disordered.
One who “disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief” is “sinning against faith” (Catechism, no. 2088). Assuredly, there may be circumstances present that diminish the individual’s guilt, but that is very different from saying that the conscience is well formed.
The Church is not merely one source to be consulted as we form our conscience. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. If we believe that Jesus is truly God, then we do not “consult” with Him -- we follow Him! The Church’s moral teaching is not just something that we can buy into in varying degrees based on our own personal preference. Rather, it is the truth of Jesus Christ that sets us free (cf. Jn. 8:32) and enables us to live fulfilling Christian lives.
We believe with a divine and Catholic faith all that Christ has revealed. Can we deliberately choose to reject any of Christ’s teachings and still call ourselves His disciples (cf. Mt. 7:21)? “He who does what is true comes to the light” (Jn. 3:21) In his encyclical on the moral life, Veritatis Splendor (Splendor of Truth), Pope John Paul II explains that a correct conscience involves a judgment in accordance with objective truth, while an erroneous conscience involves a judgment that a person subjectively considers to be true, but is not (nos. 62-63).
A good conscience, then, must be attuned to the truth, as found not only through natural law but also through the revealed truths of Jesus Christ as taught by His Church. The education of conscience and the fostering of the virtues is absolutely necessary if we are to be “transformed by the renewal of our minds” (Rom. 12:2; cf. Catechism, nos. 1783-85; VS 64).
Scripture teaches that “to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). We must allow His Word to enlighten our minds and change our hearts. Then, through the grace of Christ and the gifts of His Spirit, we are empowered to lead lives “worthy of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27), making good choices in keeping with our dignity as Christians.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND GROUP DISCUSSION:
1.Catechism, no. 1792 identifies some causes of errors of judgment when it comes to living a moral, Christian life. Are any of these items present in my own life? Do I understand God’s law as a source of freedom or a form of bondage? Do I live as a child of God?
2.The Church emphasizes the importance of having a properly formed conscience. What can I do to help ensure that my conscience is properly formed? (See Catechism, no. 1785.)
3.How would I charitably respond to someone who says, “I’m Catholic, but I disagree with many of the Church’s moral teachings. I follow my conscience on the subject of contraception and abortion”?
Holy Bible (Catholic edition)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Vatican II Documents
Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)
Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth)
Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)
Precis of Official Catholic Teaching on the Christian Call to Personal Sanctification
Frank Sheed, Theology for Beginners
To order, call Benedictus Books toll-free: (888) 316-2640. CUF members receive a 10% discount.
Hahn and Suprenant, eds., Catholic for a Reason: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God
Leon Suprenant and Philip Gray, Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions
Ted Sri, Mystery of the Kingdom: On the Gospel of Matthew
Leon Suprenant, ed., Servants of the Gospel
Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Without a Doubt: Bringing Faith to Life
To order these and other titles, call Emmaus Road toll-free: (800) 398-5470.
AVAILABLE FAITH FACTS:
• No Bull: Papal Authority and Our Response
• All Aboard!: Without the Church There Is No Salvation
• Following Our Bishops
• “We Believe in One God....”: The Nicene Creed and Mass
• That They May All Be One: The Difference the Church Makes
I'm a CEBUANA working here in Bangkok.
For now, I'm quite tied up with work and I love what I'm doing. I enjoy my work in here as there's balance between teaching adults and young learners. I'm contented with the variety my work offers, I get to learn everyday both in my field and life's dealings. I get the chance to unwind and go travel on breaks. Other than that, I go hang out, shopping, dine and sometimes whine hehehe!. Or when bored, I write...yeah, blogging is one :D