04 2016
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    03/05/2016 - IRAQ

    Some Christians guarding the village are wounded, and rushed to hospital. Residents had fled in August 2014 when Daesh stormed the region. Lately, the village had been under the control of Peshmerga and Christian volunteers. The Chaldean Patriarchate fears Jihadi attacks will drive out more people.




    03/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: There are many Christians who are "mummified" or "vagabond" or "stubborn" or, finally, "halfway"


    There are many "confused" Christians who do not follow the only "right path" that is Jesus. "How am I on this Christian journey? Standing still, on the wrong road, hanging around, only stopping for things that I like or following Jesus  who said 'I am the way!'? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to walk the right path, forever! And when you get tired, take a little refreshment and carry on. Let us ask for this grace. "

     


    02/05/2016 - IRAQ

    Mar Sako appeals to politicians to stop divisions, focus on shared plans for Iraq’s rebirth

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    The Chaldean Patriarch sends a tough rebuke against the country’s rulers, who have failed to promote reforms and reconciliation, calling for action against Iraq’s “institutional, economic and security deterioration”. As Green Zone protest ends, government’s wrath begins.


    02/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Christian bears witness to Jesus, but "often" this provokes attacks and persecution


    "The Spirit gives witness to Jesus. And each time we feel something in our heart that brings us closer to Jesus, it is the Spirit who is at work". It 'good to ask "that worldliness, easy things, the things that come directly from the father of lies, the prince of this world, sin, do not turn away from witness".


    01/05/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: May the Holy Spirit help us to understand and to remember the words of Jesus


    After the Marian prayer of the Regina Caeli Francis appeals for peace in Syria: "There is a spiral of violence in the country that continues to aggravate the already desperate humanitarian situation of the country, particularly in the city of Aleppo, and claim innocent victims, even among children, the sick and those who with great sacrifice pledged to provide assistance to others ". Economic development "must take into account human dignity and fully respect labor laws". Pedophilia "is a tragedy. We must not tolerate it, the guilty must be severely punished."


    30/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: No one be distanced from God because of man-made obstacles!


    At an extraordinary Jubilee audience, Francis returns to the theme of reconciliation, "God has never failed to offer his forgiveness to men: his mercy is felt from generation to generation." An appeal to confessors: "You are in the place of God the Father." A special Jubilee greeting for the police and the Armed Forces: "Faced with every day challenges, irradiate Christian hope, which is the certainty of the victory of love over hatred and peace over war."


    29/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: A Christian does not say one thing and do another: He walks in the light, "because God is Light."


    "The lie we know where it comes from: in the Bible, Jesus calls the devil 'father of lies', the liar". "Sin is ugly! But if you have sinned, He is watching and waiting for you to forgive you! '. Always! Because He - God - is greater than our sins".

     


    28/04/2016 - IRAQ

    Patriarch Sako: Amoris Laetitia, a source of mercy and learning for Christians and Muslims


    The Apostolic Exhortation contains essential elements for Christian families. It has also elicited “positive thoughts” among Muslims. For the Chaldean Patriarch, Islam too is waiting for something different on the family and spousal relations. Despite the war, few families have broken down, which is not the case for those who emigrated. Married priests could be a model for the whole Church.


    28/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: in the Church, there have always been resistance to the "surprises" of the Holy Spirit


    “[G]et together, join together, listen, discuss, pray and decide. This is the so-called sinodality of the Church, which expresses the communion of the Church,” the pope said. “Let us ask the Lord for grace to understand how the Church can face the surprises of the Spirit, to be docile and to follow the path which Christ wants for us and for the whole Church.”


    27/04/2016 - IRAQ

    For Baghdad auxiliary bishop, Iraq “is a mess”, at a “low point” of its history


    Iraqis are “fed up”, Mgr Warduni said, because of the lack of work, resources, and perspectives. Oil has elicited the interests of many, but impoverished the country. Prime Minister al-Abadi wants reforms but is challenged in and outside parliament. For Christian lawmaker, Iraq needs domestic unity, and peace between Saudis and Iranians.


    27/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Indifference to the suffering of man is to ignore God


    Jesus teaches us not to "categorize others to see who is our neighbor and who is not. You can become a neighbor to whomever you meet in need, and you will be if you have compassion in your heart, that is if you are capable of suffering with others".

     


    27/04/2016 - IRAQ - SYRIA

    Air raids send $ 800 million in Islamic State funds up in smoke


    According to the General Staff of the United States Peter Gersten, between 500 and 800 million in cash destroyed in the attacks. Spike in defections (up to 90%) and decline in new arrivals, especially among foreign fighters. $ 150 million kept in one house in Mosul.


    26/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "It is not for the pastor to determine what the faithful have to say in different arenas"


    In a letter to the president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America Francis speaks of the "temptation" of clericalism that "not only cancels out the Christian personality, but also tends to belittle and underestimate the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of the our people ".

     


    24/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card


    In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.


    23/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope tells youth that without Jesus, “there is no signal. Talking becomes impossible”


    In a video message to the boys and girls taking part in the Jubilee for Teens, Pope Francis stressed forgiveness and works of mercy, even for “Young people like yourselves, who are hungry, thirsty; who are refugees or foreigners or sick and in need of our help, and friendship.”


    22/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Announcing the Gospel, intercession and hope, lynchpins of Christian life


    "Each one of us, let’s ask ourselves: How is the announcement (of Jesus) in my life?  How is my relationship with Jesus who intercedes for me?  And how is my hope?  Do I truly believe that the Lord is risen? Do I believe that he prays to the Father on my behalf?  Each time that I call him, He is praying for me, He is interceding? ".


    21/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Remembering what God has done in our lives, strengthens the journey of faith


    "It is good for a Christian’s heart to remember their journey, for their path: how the Lord led me here, how He took me by the hand. And how often I have said to the Lord: 'No! Go away! I do not want to!'".


     


    20/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: distinguish between sin, to be rejected, and the sinner, to be welcomed


    During the general audience Francis expresses solidarity and prayer for "our brothers and sisters in Ecuador" struck by the earthquake and recalls the people of Ukraine who "have been suffering for a long time the consequences of an armed conflict, forgotten by many".

     


    19/04/2016 - IRAQ

    From parliament to the streets, Iraq’s political crisis deepens


    Some MPs continue to protest demanding the resignation of the parliament’s speaker. President’s mediation fails. After an agitated session, parliament is set to reconvene on Thursday. US Defence secretary makes an unexpected stop in Baghdad. Al Sadr supporters fill Tahrir Square again.


    19/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "A Christian who is not drawn by the Father to Jesus is an orphan"


    "Jesus invites us to be his disciples, but to be so we must let ourselves be drawn by the Father to Him. And the humble prayer of the son, that we may also say, is: 'Father, draw me to Jesus; Father, take me to know Jesus', and the Father will send the Spirit to open up our hearts and lead us to Jesus. "


    18/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: follow Jesus on the path of life and do not trust fortune tellers and alleged visionaries


    He is the door. "There is no other" and "those who do not enter the sheepfold through this door," but uses another way "is a thief and a robber." "You will find the voice of Jesus in the Beatitudes. Those who try to teach you a way contrary to the Beatitudes, entered  through a window: They are not Jesus! '.


    18/04/2016 - IRAQ - SYRIA

    Islamic State in the red, even terrorists raise taxes


    In recent months the revenues of the so-called "Caliphate" decreased by 30%. In March $ 56 million in revenue, in mid-2015 the figure was 80 million. Population in the territories controlled by Daesh also dropping, from nine to six million. To remedy the jihadist leaders have imposed new levies. Fines for those who do not respond correctly to questions on the Koran.

     


    17/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE

    Pope Francis brings three Syrian refugee families home to the Vatican


    They arrived with the pontiff from Lesbos. They join the two families already living inside the Vatican. Pope alights first from the plane bringing him back to Rome to shake hands with each of them. The reception and the maintenance of three families will be borne by the Vatican. The initial hospitality - said Father Lombardi - will be guaranteed by the Community of Sant'Egidio.

     


    17/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Our life is safe in Christ’s hands, we no longer need fear


    At the Regina Caeli Francis stresses the importance of listening, as followers, to Christ's words: "An engaging not superficial, listening, to enable a true mutual knowledge". After the Marian prayer, the Pope thanks people for their prayers for his recent visit to Lesbos with Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Hieronymus: "The unity in the charity of all the disciples of the Lord". The Pope speaks of a young Muslim man whose wife was slain by terrorists because she was a Christian: "She was a martyr, and he was crying so much." A prayer for the victims of the earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan.


    16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE

    Pope calls on Europe to be a land of welcome, says migrants are not numbers but faces


    Meeting the people of Lesbos, Francis expresses "admiration" for the Greek people who - despite difficulties - welcomes those who suffer: "God will reward this generosity, like that of other surrounding nations, which from the first moments have received with great availability many forced migrants. " The people's "concerns are legitimate," but we must never forget that in front of us we have people who are suffering. A common prayer.


    16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE - ORTHODOX

    Migrant crisis, the "worst humanitarian disaster since the Second World War"


    Francis, Bartholomew and Jerome sign a lengthy joint declaration on the situation of refugees. "World opinion can not ignore the colossal humanitarian crisis created by the spread of violence and armed conflict, the persecution and displacement of religious and ethnic minorities, and the uprooting of families from their homes, in violation of their human dignity and their fundamental human rights and freedoms". Renewed commitment to Christian unity, an appeal for the end of the war in the Middle East. The full text of the declaration.

     


    16/04/2016 - GREECE - VATICAN

    Pope to refugees in Lesbos: You are not alone, I plead with the world for a solution


    Along with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens Hieronymus, Francis visits the large Moria refugee camp on the Greek island. Moving, painful but also much joy, especially from the young people. Many throw themselves at the Pope’s feet to tell stories of pain and suffering. The pope: "Do not lose hope." Special thanks to the Greek people who "despite their own suffering" opened hearts and homes to those fleeing from pain.


    14/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: The Holy Spirit accomplishes things, not so-called fidelity to the law


    Commenting on Phillip’s evangelization of Ethiopia, Francis stresses the importance of openness to the Spirit: "Philip, one of the Apostles, was busy as all bishops are, and this day surely he had his plan to work". But the Spirit tells him to leave what he was planning to go to Ethiopia "and he obeyed."

     


    13/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: I am going to Lesbos to be close to refugees. Pray for me


    At the General Audience Francis comments on the call of Matthew, a sinner in the eyes of the world: "The Church is not a perfect community, but disciples on a journey, who follow the Lord because they know that they are sinners and in need of his forgiveness. The Christian life then is a school of humility that opens us to grace". Arrogance and pride "is a wall preventing our relationship with God." After the catechesis an appeal: "I will go to Greece to express sympathy and solidarity with, migrants and the Greek people who welcome them so generously."

     


    12/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Persecution, the Church's daily bread


    There is obvious persecution such as the Easter Day attack against Pakistani Christians or "polite" persecution not directed not against those who profess the name of Christ, but against those who want to profess the values ​​of God's Son. "It is a persecution against God the Creator in the person of His children".

     






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card



    In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.


    IRAN
    Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.


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