02/28/2015VATICAN Pope encourages the growth of cooperatives as an economic model that serves the common good Cooperatives are "enterprises based on the principle of solidarity and social relations," that act as "the lever that raises and develops the weakest part of local communities and civil society," and provide "new welfare solutions" that support, facilitate and even encourage family life, because even though money is "the dung of the devil," if it is well managed, "it can be used to promote the common good." Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis
spoke to thousands of members of the Italian Federation of Cooperatives in the
Vatican's Paul VI Hall about the need to build "a new quality economy"
that can "create...
02/24/2015EGYPT - ISLAM What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam by Samir Khalil Samir The grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
02/24/2015JAPAN A Nigerian pastor and activist for women's rights awarded 32nd Niwano Peace Prize Esther Abimiku Ibanga founded the "Women Without Walls Initiative" to end the violence and the unjustified killing of women and children in Plateau State, Nigeria. The organization has become a strong coalition of women's groups beyond ethnic and religious divisions and is the first to have among its members, women leaders from all tribal groups, including Christian and Muslim.
02/24/2015JAPAN Japan, state funds to freeze eggs and have children after 45 years of age The city of Utayasu announces: from April 1 a new wing of the local hospital will be opened for the storage of frozen eggs. The government will pay 70% of medical expenses for women - between 20 and 34 years of age - who want to avail of the program. Japan hit by a demographic crisis that seems irreversible.
02/23/2015SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremism For Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
02/22/2015VATICAN Pope gifts "Guard your heart" booklet as an aid to conversion in Lent At today's Angelus Pope Francis gave away booklets containing "the wealth of our doctrine," the essentials of the faith: "the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments, the virtues, works of mercy. .. ". The booklet was distributed by volunteers and homeless people. "Those who are in need are also the ones who give us this great wealth." Lent is a time "for spiritual battle against the spirit of evil", already won by Jesus in the desert. "We go into the desert without fear, because we are not alone, we are with Jesus." This afternoon, the Pope goes to Ariccia on retreat with the Curia: "Pray so that in this desert we can hear the voice of Jesus and correct our many defects".
02/20/2015VATICAN Pope: "a good Christian is just to the people who depend on him" "Love of God and love of neighbor are one in the same" and especially in Lent "fasting, is not just abstaining from meat” only to "fight with and exploit workers" and make offerings to the Church "on their backs". The point of Lent is "to think about them: what can I do for the children, for the elderly, who do not have the opportunity to be seen by a doctor?", who maybe wait "for eight hours and then they give an appointment for a week after ".
02/18/2015VATICAN Pope: Lent, a time of conversion, a push to return into "the arms of God" "This work of conversion is not just a human endeavor. Reconciliation between us and God is possible thanks to the mercy of the Father. [. . .] We will do well to ask, at the beginning of this Lent, for the gift of tears, so as to make our prayer and our journey of conversion ever more authentic and without hypocrisy."
02/18/2015VATICAN Pope: "the international community must a find peaceful solutions to the difficult situation in Libya" Francis again asks for prayers at the general audience "for our Egyptian brothers," killed in Libya "for the mere fact of being Christian." Peace also for Ukraine. "Brother" and "sister" are "words that Christianity loves" and "history has shown enough, moreover, that the freedom and equality, without brotherhood, becomes filled with individualism and conformity, even personal interests".
02/17/2015VATICAN Pope calls on young people to be "revolutionaries" because the pure in heart "shall see God" "The Lord's invitation to encounter him is made to each of you, in whatever place or situation you find yourself. [. . .] God can be 'seen' also in the face of your brothers and sisters, especially those who are most forgotten: the poor, the hungry, those who thirst, strangers, the sick, those imprisoned." Be "revolutionary", and turn "against the widespread tendency to reduce love to something banal, reducing it to its sexual aspect alone."
02/16/2015ISLAM - EUROPE Attack on Europe: Islamic terrorism brings a new era by Samir Khalil Samir The Islamic State is a direct threat to Italy and Europe. The biggest risk is its power on "lone wolves" who can be induced to carry out attacks. As jihadism gives purpose to young European Muslims experiencing a crisis of identity and values, the new word "crusader" is disproportionately used in the war of words. Meanwhile, some kind of military operation has become necessary to curb Islamists' harmful and deadly power.