12/18/2014VATICAN Pope: "Today we are all happy" for the new relations between the US and Cuba Presidents Obama and Castro thanked the Vatican for its mediation aimed at the resumption of diplomatic relations interrupted in1961. In recent months, Francis has spoken of Cuba with Obama and written a personal letter to the two Presidents. Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "We are all happy today, because we have seen
how the two peoples, who distanced themselves from one another for so many
years, yesterday took a step...
12/18/2014VATICAN Pope: God walks with us in history, and when we go wrong he correct history and brings it forward "Making history with his people means for God to walk with us and to test the ones he has chosen". But in the end He saves them: "Let us always remember, with confidence, even in the worst moments, even in times of illness, when we realize we have to ask for the Last Rites because there is no way out, to say: 'Lord, history did not start with me and will not end with me! You go ahead, I am willing to come with you'. And to put ourselves in the hands of the Lord".
12/17/2014MIDDLE EAST - ISLAM Secularism, Sunni-Shia divide, and the Islamic state are wiping out Christians from the Middle East by Fady Noun Islam cannot contribute to peace if it does not resolve its internal conflicts and divisions between Sunnis and Shias. The barbarity of the Islamic state has imposed a "deadly" peace. The end of Eastern Christians is a growing possibility. The external threat of Islamic extremism is compounded by secularism and political divisions that are undermining the community from within.
12/17/2014VATICAN Pope: May God "convert the hearts of the violent who do not stop even before children" Prayers "for the victims of inhuman terrorist acts in recent days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen." Tango dancers, a cake and birthday wishes in all languages for Francis' 78 years. The "meditations" on the family during the general audiences are part of a journey in which the Extraordinary Synod of October" was the first step."
12/16/2014IRAQ - VATICAN As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers by Amel Nona Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
12/16/2014AUSTRALIA - ISLAM Siege of Lindt Café in Sydney ends in bloodshed Two hostages and the gunman - an Iranian converted from Sunnism to Shiism - killed. According to the Prime Minister, he was "infatuated by extremism" and unstable from a mental point of view. Condemnation by the Council of Imams. Fears of attacks by young Australian sympathizers of al Qaeda or Isis that return home after fighting in the Middle East.
12/15/2014VATICAN For Pope, Catholics should avoid the "sins of the media: disinformation, slander and defamation" The "tasks" of those involved in social communication include speaking freely, without submissions to politics or economics; choosing the "path of understanding" the whole of reality; and avoiding attention-grabbing the user. "Genuine communication is not concerned with attention-grabbing. Alternating catastrophic alarmism and consolatory detachment - two extremes that we see continually in today's communication - are not a good service media offer to people."
12/14/2014VATICAN On the "Sunday of Joy", pope gives a prayer booklet, telling the faithful to "always carry it" After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis gave the crowd a pocketbook of prayers "for the various times of the day and for different situations in life". Earlier, he had blessed the "Baby Jesus" figurines for Nativity scenes brought by the children from Roman oratories. He also said, "With Jesus, joy dwells in us". He also shared the Christmas candle in solidarity with Polish faithful.
12/13/2014IRAQ Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul by Joseph Mahmoud Mar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
12/12/2014VATICAN Pope, "compelled to ask that the future of Latin America be forged for the poor and those who suffer" Francis led today's Mass celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, the "great missionary who" brought "the Gospel to our America." The Marian canticle "professes that God delights in subverting ideologies and worldly hierarchies. He lifts up the lowly, comes to the aid of the poor and the little, he fills with goodness, blessings and hope those who trust in his mercy from generation to generation, while he casts down the rich, the powerful, and rulers from their thrones."
12/12/2014IRAQ Record pilgrimage in Karbala: anti-Shia attack kills one, wounds four
A deadly mortar round hits a western section of the holy city. Victims include local residents. This year, the number of pilgrims hits record levels: 17.5 million visitors, including 13 million Iraqis, plus 4.5 million foreigners from 60 countries. Government security measures prove strong enough to resist onslaught by the Islamic State and other Sunni extremist groups.