21 August 2017
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  • 20/08/2017 - VATICAN

    At the Angelus, Pope Francis prays in silence and with a Hail Mary for the victims of the attacks in Ouagadougou, Barcelona, ​​Turku. The "inner strength" of the Canaanite woman, "which allows every obstacle to be overcome ". The woman is "an example of unshakable faith". "Do not despair" if at times "the Lord ... seems insensitive to the requests for help". "The Spirit infuses boldness in the hearts of believers."




    19/08/2017 - VATICAN - RUSSIA

    Card. Parolin in Moscow: Ostpolitik conquers distrust

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The theme is a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, not in Moscow, but in some holy place of the Christian East, or in Bari. An international conference on the future of Ukraine and Crimea. Commitment to Christians and Peace in the Middle East. 


    18/08/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Chinese Priest: The differences between the funeral of Msgr. Xie and Msgr. Li

    by Shan Ren Shen Fu (山人神父)

    For the first, the bishop of Urumqi, priests and faithful were banned from taking part in the funeral mass; there was no episcopal insignia in the photos; only half an hour for the ceremony. The other, bishop of Taiyuan, was surrounded by the affection and  esteem of thousands of his priests and faithful. But "the saints who welcome the two bishops to the door of Paradise are equally numerous."


    18/08/2017 - VATICAN – SPAIN – ASIA

    Pope prays for Barcelona victims. Asian nations express their condolences


    Papal telegram is sent to the archbishop of Barcelona. Victims come from 20 countries, including some in Asia: China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Putin and Xi Jinping call for greater unity and coordination to fight terrorism. Arab countries express their closeness.


    18/08/2017 - IRAN

    Mehdi Kharroubi halts hunger strike


    The authorities have agreed to remove guards from the house where he has been detained under house arrest since 2011. Kharroubi called for a public trial. His son: "Officials have promised they will take action on it."


    17/08/2017 - CHINA – VATICAN

    The funerals of Mgr Xie Tingzhe and Mgr Li Jiantang show the government’s double standards

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The first, an underground bishop not recognised by the government, was cremated and hurriedly buried. The faithful and priests were forbidden to attend the funeral Mass, and taking pictures at the service was banned. The second, a bishop with the official Church and a political advisor to the Chinese parliament, was exposed for several days honoured and his funeral was open to concelebrants and the faithful.


    17/08/2017 - IRAN

    Kharroubi hospitalized: on hunger strike to demand public trial


    He would accept the verdict even if he would not expect a "fair trial". His health conditions, worsening since July, deteriorated after a day of fasting from food and water. The Reformist leader has been under house arrest and 24 hour surveillance since 2011 without any formal charges.


    16/08/2017 - TURKEY – IRAN

    Kurds and Islamic State at the centre of the historic visit by Iranian General Bagheri to Turkey


    For Iran’s official news agency, the visit is "unprecedented". Turkish media consider it a "milestone" in relations between Tehran and Ankara. Iran’s top Revolutionary Guards official will meet Turkey’s president and defence minister. For analysts and experts, despite its defeats the Islamic state is still a threat to the future of Syria and Iraq.


    15/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: May the Blessed Mary bring the grace that is Jesus Christ to our families


    During the Angelus of the Assumption, Pope Francis entrusted to Mary "the anxieties and sorrows of the populations who suffer in many parts of the world from natural calamities, social tensions or conflicts." God “works great things through humble people, unknown to the world, like Mary herself,” whilst “Our Lady also brought to us a new joy full of meaning”.


    14/08/2017 - IRAN

    Tehran strengthens military spending and allocates 500 million


    The Iranian Parliament has voted for investment growth in missile defense and foreign operations. MPs voted in favor (240 out of 244) with anti-US slogans and songs. Ali Larijani: Response to "terrorist and adventurism" in Washington and in the Middle East.


    13/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: safety is found on the boat of the Church, not on the “bewitching boats” of ideologies, fashion, horoscopes and fortune-tellers


    During the Angelus, Pope Francis compared the lives of people and the Church to a boat, which face difficulties and trials. "Faith gives us the assurance of a Presence that pushes us to overcome the storms of life, [it is] the certainty of a hand that grabs us to help us cope with difficulties, pointing us towards the way even when it is dark."


    12/08/2017 - LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN

    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    by Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    12/08/2017 - KOREA

    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”


    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


    11/08/2017 - JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – UNITED STATES

    Mgr Kikuchi: The Church in Japan praying for peace, while political leaders fuel tensions

    by Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi

    For the bishop of Niigata, tensions on the Korean peninsula go back 70 years, but new political leaders "have been fueling the existing fire." A solution involving US military aggression would only bring devastating results to everyone. Ten days of praying for peace are being held. Japanese and Korean bishops are working together.


    11/08/2017 - SYRIA - IRAQ – UNITED NATIONS

    UN report: Islamic State threat remains despite military blows


    The jihadist group continues to "motivate and enable" global attacks and funnel funds to supporters. Growing attacks in Europe and Asia confirm demonstrate that Isis is an international threat. Special care should be given to radicalized minors returning home after undergoing advanced IS training.


    09/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope says Jesus forgives sins, a 'scandalous gesture', makes an appeal for Nigeria and the Central African Republic


    In today’s general audience, Pope Francis noted that "Jesus saw a possibility of resurrection even in those who have accumulated so many wrong choices." Forgiven sinners are "psychologically relieved", but especially receive "a new life, a life marked by love" like Matthew, Zacchaeus, and the Samaritan woman. "We are all poor sinners, in need of of God's mercy." A Hail Mary is recited for Christian victim of violence in Nigeria and the Central African Republic.


    09/08/2017 - IRAN

    Iranian President Rouhani presents his cabinet to parliament without any woman minister


    Seventeen ministerial positions are filled out of 18. Key figures in the previous cabinet are re-confirmed, including the Foreign, Oil, Intelligence and Interior ministers. New picks go to Defence and Justice. Reformists criticise the lack of women members. Rouhani has surrendered to the pressure of the religious establishment.


    08/08/2017 - MIDDLE EAST

    Mideast: a "lost generation" of children and young people due to murder, suicide, and war


    A study found that in 2015 ten times more people died from suicide and murder than in war: 1.4 million vs 144,000. There has been a "sharp increase" in cases of mental illness, but the region lacks specialist to treat them.


    07/08/2017 - KOREA

    South Korean, US and Japanese foreign ministers meet in Manila to assess Pyongyang's position


    Proposed mediation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in is backed by China and partly by the US. North Korean and South Korean foreign ministers have their first handshake since Moon took over. The UN resolution supports diplomacy in an attempt to ward off war. Moon and Trump talk by phone.


    06/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Transfiguration and holidays, to meet Jesus and to be at the service of our brothers


    In the Angelus the ascension of the disciples to Mount Tabor to contemplate the transfigured Jesus, is compared by Pope Francis with the "time of rest and detachment from daily occupations", useful for "reviving the forces of the body and the spirit, deepening the spiritual path" . He reminds that in the summer there are those who "cannot take holidays because they are prevented by age, health or work reasons, economic constraints or other problems."


    04/08/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    For Chinese Catholics: Praying with St. Ignatius (2)

    by Ottavio De Bertolis

    The space, the position, silence, questioning the Spirit, contemplation. The simple and concrete steps of how to meditate on the Gospel. Serving the spiritual formation of Chinese Catholics, and those worldwide.


    03/08/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    For Chinese Catholics: The Holy Hour, how to meditate on the Gospel (1)

    by Ottavio De Bertolis

     Today AsiaNews begins publishing a book that explains the way, techniques, contents of Gospel meditation, in the wake of the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. A service to the Church in China in its urgent need for spiritual formation for bishops, priests, religious, laity.


    03/08/2017 - IRAN - USA

    Iran accuses the United States of having violated the nuclear agreement


    The official reaction to President Donald Trump's signature on the new sanctions voted by the US Congress against Iran, Russia and North Korea. The measures taken by Congress concern the Guardians of the Revolution, the ballistic weapons program, the human rights situation in the country, and support for groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah. Iran in turn adopts no less than 16 sanctions.


    02/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: With baptism, the Christian becomes "Christopher", “Bearer of Christ” in the world


    As the General Audience resumes after the summer break, Pope Francis recalls the symbolism of ancient churches structured from west to east: the west is "where the light dies”; The East is "the place where darkness is defeated by the first light of the dawn and calls upon us the Christ, the Sun raised from above on the horizon of the world". Christians "are oriented men and women”: they do not believe in the darkness, but in the light of day." "The Church's Life is a Contamination of Light". Pilgrims from Iraq, Syria and Japan present.


    01/08/2017 - VATICAN

    Vatican issues statement on sustainable tourism as development tool


    Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which Pope Francis recently set up, issues its first statement. Tourism represents 10 per cent GDP and 7 per cent of total exports. One person in 11 is employed in the sector. Sustainable tourism must protect the environment, the cultural heritage of peoples, the dignity of workers, and the disadvantaged. The Dicastery and the UN are on the same wavelength.


    01/08/2017 - HONG KONG - VATICAN

    From today, Msgr. Michael Yeung is bishop of Hong Kong: he is a friend of Zen and Tong

    by Bernardo Cervellera

     The announcement given today in the Vatican and Hong Kong. Tomorrow the new bishop will hold a press conference. Kneeling in front of Cardinals Tong and Zen: "Two Great Trees". He is optimistic for China-Holy See dialogue, but it is "difficult to obtain immediate results". Commitment to safeguarding Hong Kong's freedom.


    31/07/2017 - INDONESIA

    Youth from all over Asia in Yogyakarta for Asian Youth Day

    by Mathias Hariyadi (*)

    Participants come from India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Mongolia, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Cambodia. Indonesians have come from some of the remotest regencies to attend the event. For Bishop Pius Riana Prapdi, the young are the heart of the Church.


    31/07/2017 - INDONESIA

    Denpasar, young people from Malaysia and Cambodia for Asian Youth Day 'Days in the Diocese'

    by Emiliana Saptaningsih

    Over 150 young people from Malaysia, Cambodia and other Indonesian dioceses arrived in the island of Bali for the Asian Youth Day. Acclimatizing in witness of faith in an Islamic and multicultural majority.


    30/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: everyone against the modern slavery of human trafficking. Treasure and pearl


    Pope Francis has Hail Mary recited at the Angelus “to support the victims of trafficking and convert the hearts of traffickers.” The world seems to be getting used to this "aberrant plague", which is “ugly, cruel, criminal!" The pontiff mentioned the parables of the treasure and precious pearl. The quest "is the essential condition for finding". The discovery of the treasure and the pearl entails "sacrifice, detachment and renunciation”. The joy of the farmer and merchant in the parable "is the joy of each of us when we discover the closeness and consoling presence of Jesus in our lives."






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON – MIDDLE EAST – VATICAN
    For Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the genocide of Christians is an affront to all humanity

    Fady Noun

    Afflicted by wars, emigration and insecurity, Christian communities have now become "a small flock" amid the indifference of the international community. Patriarchs appeal to Pope Francis and the international community. Catholics and Orthodox share the same problems. The end of Christians in the East would be "a shameful stigma for the whole 21st century".


    KOREA
    Korean Bishops say no to “unreasonable provocations', call for a stop to the nuclear escalation by working for the “coexistence of humanity”



    Korean bishops issued an Exhortation today on the rising tensions around the Korean peninsula. North Korea but also "neighbouring countries" are at risk of "hasty unrestrained action" that could lead to the "death of innumerable people" and "deep wounds for the whole of humanity." They call for reduced military budgets and more spending on human and cultural development. They urge using "conscience, intelligence, solidarity, piety and mutual respect". A prayer is set for the feast day of the Assumption, which is also Korean Independence Day.


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