26 July 2017
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  • 25/07/2017 - FRANCE - ISLAM

    Commemorations for the 85-year-old parish priest whose throat was slit in front of the altar, presided by the Archbishop of Rouen, include President Emmanuel Macron, the Interior Minister and Muslim Representatives. The unity between Catholic and Muslim communities has been strengthened. But the government's fight against jihadism has many flaws. Overcrowded prisons, unemployment and marginalization are the ingredients for recruitment and radicalization.

     


    by Catherine Field (*)

    23/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope appeals for "moderation and dialogue" in Jerusalem


    At the Angelus Francis, concerned about the violence in the Holy City, asks all to pray "so that the Lord may inspire intentions of reconciliation and peace in all." Evil and good are "intertwined" in each of us, and it is not for man to distinguish or judge.


    22/07/2017 - USA - NORTH KOREA

    White House to issue travel ban to North Korea


    The ban is the direct consequence of the death of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died after more than a year in North Korean prisons. The restriction will be published next week in the Federal Register and will come into effect within 30 days. The interim period needed to regularize the situation of those who are already in Pyongyang.

     


    20/07/2017 - ASIA

    Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai among most sought-after destinations in 2017 City Index


    New York is still first, but Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong are second and third for business. The top ten includes Tokyo (fifth), Beijing (seventh), and Shanghai (tenth). The younger generation prefer Abu Dhabi and Tokyo. The data comes from the Ipsos Global survey of the best cities in which to live, work and visit.


    19/07/2017 - IRAN – UNITED STATES

    New US sanctions angers Iran, which pledges its own sanctions


    New sanctions against the Islamic Republic are due to its support for “terrorist” groups and the Syrian regime as well as its missile programme. Some 18 entities or individuals are targeted. Washington is “deeply concerned" about Iran's "malign activities". Tehran slams the sanctions as illegal, pledges sanctions of its own against the US.


    18/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope on twitter reaches 35 million followers


    Benedict XVI launched the account 3 December 2012. Available in nine languages, it is one the most followed in the world with the most retweets. In recent weeks, the pope’s thoughts about Charlie Gard and very sick children was extensively retweeted.


    17/07/2017 - CHINA

    Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization


    The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).


    16/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Jesus invites us to look inward and carry our rocks and brambles in the confession


    "Let us ask ourselves if our heart is open to accept faithfully the seed of the Word of God. Let us ask ourselves if the rocks of idleness are still numerous and big. Let us identify and call by name the brambles of vices. Let us find the courage to clean properly the ground, bringing our rocks and brambles to the Lord in the confession and in prayer.”


    13/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: visiting the sick or giving food to the poor "is already preaching"


    Francis’ message to the International Symposium on Catechesis in Buenos Aires, on the topic "Blessed are those who believe." "Being a catechist is a vocation of service in the Church, a gift of the Lord that changes lives."


    12/07/2017 - USA - KOREA

    Thaad shield test disintegrates missile headed for Alaska


    An Alaska-based interceptor hit a missile test launched by an Air Force Cargo plane near Hawaii. In the wake of North Korean missile tests, the United States is pushing South Korea to equip itself with Thaad. The construction of the Thaad system with the permission of former President Park Geun-hye had already begun earlier this year. But the reactions of China, Russia and, above all, the advent of the new South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, have returned the project to Seoul's parliament for debate.


    10/07/2017 - NORTH KOREA – UNITED STATES

    Pyongyang reacts to US bombers in Korean skies


    "The US, with its dangerous military provocation, is pushing the risk of a nuclear war on the peninsula to a tipping point,” wrote North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper in an editorial. “The US saying it will regularly deploy strategic bombers to the Korean Peninsula is the same as a crazy act of playing fire on top of an ammunitions locker. A small misjudgement or error can immediately lead to the beginning of a nuclear war, which will inevitably lead to another world war,” the paper added. Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-In tries to keep the door open to dialogue.


    09/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Jesus "does not take the Cross from us, but carries it with us", let us entrust people and situations to him


    “So many goals are illusory: they promise some respite and distraction, they guarantee peace and fun, only to leave the same solitude as before,  they are "fireworks". That is why Christ indicated where to go:"Come to me".


    08/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Card Sarah: Ensure the validity of bread and wine for the Eucharist


    Letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship. Bishops must ensure that the material for the celebration is valid: wheat bread and grape wine. The exceptions for celiac and for those who do not drink wine but can drink mustum. Verification is needed because today these products are also sold in supermarkets and via the internet.


    08/07/2017 - UN

    Over 100 countries vote for the prohibition of nuclear arms, but big powers rebel


    The text was approved with 122 votes in favor, one against, one abstention. But none of the nine nuclear countries -  US, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel - took part in the debate or vote. Vatican support and the appreciation of UN Secretary-General Guterres.


    08/07/2017 - ISRAEL - SYRIA

    The 'bizarre case' of Bashar al-Assad and nerve gas

    by Uri Avnery

    The great Israeli statist comments on allegations of the Syrian President's bombing the city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, and of using lethal gas against his people. But there is no evidence to condemn Assad. In Syria, "everyone is fighting with everyone against everyone." Trump's punitive attack against the will of US generals and with media applause, "unconscious prisoners of lies".


    07/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope to G20: Address ongoing conflicts and migration for an inclusive and sustainable global economy


    Following the request of Angela Merkel, Pope Francis writes to heads of state and government in Hamburg for the summit of the world's major economies. A "heartfelt appeal"  to address the tragic situations of South Sudan, Lake Chad, Horn of Africa and Yemen, where there are 30 million people who have no food and water to survive. " The contradiction between apparent unity in the "common economic forums" and the persistence of "armed conflicts". Take an example from the great leaders of the recent past: Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer, Monnet. Bear in mind the great majority of the population, even though it represents only 10% of the world economy.


    06/07/2017 - KOREA-US-UN

    United States: Military option against Pyongyang, 'if we have to.' Moon: No to escalation


    At the UN Security Council's emergency meeting, the US ambassador urges new sanctions against countries that have relations with North Korea, namely China. Beijing and Moscow: reduce tensions. South Korean President: Sanctions and pressure have to push for dialogue and not to destroy peace.


    05/07/2017 - KOREA-UN

    Doubts surround power of Pyongyang missiles. Moon decides to follow the path of sanctions and dialogue


    Kim Jong-un's rhetoric: The Missile, "a gift to American bastards," on Independence Day. "Now we can hit the whole world." But the missile may have disintegrated into the air, on re-entering the atmosphere. Doubts about the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads to be included in the missile cone. At the UN Security Council, the US will seek further sanctions. Seoul reiterates the importance of the path of dialogue. Antonio Guterres: The international community must remain united.


    04/07/2017 - KOREA-US-CHINA

    Another missile from North Korea. Kim teases Trump and China. Moon asks for UN intervention


    Pyongyang claims a successful launch of an "intercontinental" missile. The Japanese government submits a formal protest to the UN. South Korean President Moon Jae-in also calls for the United Nations to intervene. The G20 in Hamburg will discuss the event in a trilateral meeting between Abe, Trump and Moon.


    03/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells FAO that hunger is not just a natural phenomenon, but rather the result of selfishness and wars


    In his message, Francis reminds the international community of its duty of solidarity. Malnutrition is the “result of a more complex condition of underdevelopment caused by the indifference of many or the selfishness of a few.” At the same time, “All of us realize that the intention to provide everyone with his or her daily bread is not enough. Rather, there is a need to recognize that all have a right to it and they must therefore benefit from it.”


    03/07/2017 - ASIA

    US and Russia reduce (minimally) quantity of nuclear weapons; China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel increase them


    2017 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report is published. Data reveals slowdown in the process of dismantling nuclear weapons: 14,935 nuclear warheads against 15,395 of the previous year. US and Russia are investing in modernizing their systems. The smallest arsenals in Asia are in full swing. Israel has 80 nuclear warheads. Pope Francis's appeal to the UN has not been heard.


    02/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: If you leave everything for Jesus, people will recognise the Lord in you and help you to convert. He makes an appeal to Venezuela


    During the Angelus, Pope Francis called on Christians to hold Jesus as "the centre, the whole of life." Do not have a "duplicitous heart" with a "foot in two shoes". May the " holy faithful people of God” help “us to be good priests." He dedicated a Hail Mary to Venezuela, and expressed his “closeness to the families who have lost children in the streets”.


    01/07/2017 - INDIA – UNITED STATES

    Modi and Trump cozy up to check China’s expansion

    by Luca Galantini

    Despite the economic rivalry, Indo-US friendship turns into a military alliance against the Pakistan-China axis and the development of the New Silk Road. Washington will sell weapons to Delhi and allow the manufacturing of F-16 in India.


    30/06/2017 - INDIA – UNITED STATES

    Trump and Modi meet amid silence over India’s persecuted Christians

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The US president has pledged to eradicate Islamic extremism. India is the largest democracy in the world, but for Sajan K George, “not everyone is the same. Minorities, Tribals and Dalits do not enjoy the same equality as the majority."


    30/06/2017 - TAIWAN – UNITED STATES

    Trump’s $ 1.42 billion weapons sale to Taiwan angers China


    Tensions flare up between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping one week before the G20 summit in Hamburg. The US is pushing China to isolate North Korea. China instead is trying to isolate Taiwan.  The US has been selling weapons to Taiwan since 1979. The last deal was signed by Barack Obama in 2015.


    30/06/2017 - USA - KOREA

    Moon and Trump discuss North Korea. Agreements and disagreements


    Trump has pledged to step up pressure on Pyongyang. Moon does not want to put diplomacy and humanitarian aspects aside. In the background, the creation of Thaad, the American missile shield in South Korea that enrages Beijing. 


    29/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Like Peter and Paul, apostles on the way, not parlour Christians

    by Papa Francesco

    At Mass for the solemnity of St. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis emphasizes the characteristics of the apostles: professing Christ, accepting persecution, being masters of prayer. In the world today "so many Christians are marginalized, slandered, discriminated, subjected to even mortal violence", and often "in a climate of silence - not often silent accomplice". The presence of the ecumenical delegation sent by Bartolomeo I, Patriarch of Constantinople.


    29/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The faith of Peter and Paul, confessed, announced, crowned with the supreme test of martyrdom


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis speaks of how the two apostles were "liberated" to "proclaim the Gospel in difficult and in some cases hostile environments." "Especially in times of trial, God tends a hand to us, comes to our aid, and frees us from enemy threats." Greeting to the faithful from Indonesia and Qatar. The greeting to the new cardinals, the major archbishops who received the pallium, and the delegation of the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople.


    29/06/2017 - VATICAN - AUSTRALIA

    Card. George Pell accused of abuse: "I'm innocent." Pope's trust and esteem


    The Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy takes a leave of absence to "clear" his name of charges of paedophilia, which he categorically rejects. Card. Pell is the highest Vatican personality to undergo this kind of accusation. The Holy See expresses "respect" for the Australian justice system, but affirms all its esteem for the cardinal, who has worked very hard against paedophilia. Pope's appreciation for his commitment to economic reforms. Some people think that these accusations are a "vendetta" of mafiosi groups who are now unable to use the Vatican bank in money laundering operations.


    28/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells new cardinals that they are called to look at the reality of suffering and injustice


    Francis created five new cardinals today. They come from Laos, Mali, Sweden, El Salvador and Spain. He described today’s reality in which “It is the innocent who suffer and die as victims of war and terrorism;” a world in which “forms of enslavement [. . .] continue to violate human dignity even in the age of human rights;” where “refugee camps [. . .] at times seem more like a hell than a purgatory;” and where “all that is no longer useful, people included,” is discarded.






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    60 years of the Chinese Patriotic Association: the Church subordinated to Politics

    Shan Ren Shen Fu (山人神父)

    Although in a low key - perhaps because of talks with the Vatican - the slogan for an "autonomous" and "independent" Church (from the Holy See) is completely subjugated to Party politics. Official bishops die like "state officials" far from the faithful. The Party forces its members to atheism. There are few  "witnesses" among official bishops and many  "opportunists".

     


    VATICAN
    Pope appeals for "moderation and dialogue" in Jerusalem



    At the Angelus Francis, concerned about the violence in the Holy City, asks all to pray "so that the Lord may inspire intentions of reconciliation and peace in all." Evil and good are "intertwined" in each of us, and it is not for man to distinguish or judge.


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