31 July 2016
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    30/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    Before a million young people gathered for the vigil in Krakow, Pope Francis called on them to answer in person Jesus’ call to change the world. To do so, they must avoid nodding off, as well as growing drowsy and dull by consumerism and sofa-happiness. Adults should heed the courage and risk taking attitude of the young. A young Polish woman, a Syrian woman from Aleppo and an ex drug addict from Paraguay told poignant stories.




    30/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    Campus Misericordiae: the beating heart of the Krakow WYD

    by V.F.P.

    Young pilgrims are coming in from around the world to be at the Field of Mercy in Brzegi (Wieliczka). Tonight they will take part in a vigil with Pope Francis and worship the Blessed Sacrament. Among those who will bear witness, one is a young Syrian from Aleppo; another is a former addict.


    30/07/2016 - WYD

    Pope: the disciple of Jesus goes into the world to serve and live as a witness to the Gospel


    Francis celebrated Mass at the sanctuary dedicated to Saint John Paul II. "Jesus sends. From the beginning, he wants his to be a Church on the move, a Church that goes out into the world. And he wants it to do this just as he did. He was not sent into the world by the Father to wield power, but to take the form of a slave; he came not “to be served, but to serve”. He also “wants hearts that are open and tender towards the weak, never hearts that are hardened. He wants docile and transparent hearts that do not dissimulate before those whom the Church appoints as our guides.”


    29/07/2016 - WYD

    Pope: Via Crucis, “Unless those who call themselves Christians live to serve, their lives serve no good purpose”


    “Where is God? Where is God, if evil is present in our world, if there are men and women who are hungry and thirsty, homeless, exiles and refugees? Where is God, when innocent persons die as a result of violence, terrorism and war?” Yet, “In the face of evil, suffering and sin, the only response possible for a disciple of Jesus is the gift of self, even of one’s own life”. Indeed, "I wish that we, as Christians, could stand by the sick the way Jesus did with silence, a touch, a prayer”. He also called to embrace “our Syrian brothers and sisters, who fled war.”


    29/07/2016 - POLAND

    Pope: Auschwitz, "Lord forgive such cruelty!"


    On a day seemingly dedicated to suffering, Francis visited Auschwitz and Birkenau and in the afternoon will go to a children's hospital, before the Way of the Cross this evening. In silent prayer in the cell of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Meeting with some survivors and 12 "Righteous Among the Nations".


    29/07/2016 - NORTH KOREA – CHINA

    North Koreans smuggled into China


    Migrants work on cattle ranches or soybean farms. Despite paying fines for long absences, they still make more than in North Korea.


    28/07/2016 - WORLD YOUTH DAY

    Pope tells young people to say no to those who “say that things cannot change” and to “vendors of smoke”


    Francis takes part in WYD welcoming ceremony. The Church “wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face.”


    28/07/2016 - FRANCE-ISLAM

    Second terrorist who murdered Fr. Jacques Hamel identified: a 19 year old youth


    The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.


    28/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN

    Pope: "God saves us in littleness, being close hand, with a simple and open heart "


    Francis celebrates 1050th anniversary Baptism" of Poland" at Jasna Gora. Being attracted by power, greatness and visibility is tragically human, and it is a great temptation that tries to penetrate anywhere; giving to others, eliminating distances, abiding in the smallness and concrete situations of everyday life, this is purely divine".


    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    Pope says "the world is at war”, a “war for real” but “not a war of religions”


    On the plane taking him to Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day, Pope Francis spoke about the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest killed in Saint Etienne du Rouvray. The issue of migration “requires a supplement of wisdom and mercy to overcome fears and achieve the greatest good.” At the same time, “we must encourage international collaborations and synergies in order to find solutions to conflicts and wars”.


    27/07/2016 - EGYPT-ISLAM-FRANCE

    The Grand Imam of Al Azhar condemns the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France

    by Pierre Balanian

    Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND - CHINA - WYD

    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND – CHINA – WYD

    "Our dream is to bring World Youth Day to China, despite government obstacles”


    The big Chinese delegation in Krakow for 31st World Youth Days has not lost hope. “The government has done so much to discourage us, but they cannot win all the time.” One day the Pope “will celebrate young people in China." Participants express the joy and the wonder of being in Poland. “Religious aspect of this trip aside, the trip is a source of wonder. At home, it is like living in a kind of cultural prison”; what impresses here “the most so far is meeting the world.”


    26/07/2016 - ISLAM - EUROPE

    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    by Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Appeals and prayer for Munich and Kabul massacres. The prayer of Our Father


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.


    23/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN - WYD

    Krakow, young people from all over the world and high alert for WYD


    A few days before the opening of the 13th World Youth Day security levels have been raised at Wawel, in the Market Square and the rest of the historic center. But the "peaceful" invasion of the young people is filling the  streets with colour. The first vocational stands and “street confessionals” are appearing, ready for the events led by the pontiff. A Taiwanese delegation travels 42 hours to reach the cultural capital of Poland: "exhausting but beautiful".


    22/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: the Church and the world are still in need of contemplative religious


    Apostolic Constitution "Dei Vultum quaerere – Seeking the Face of God" indicates 12 "themes of reflection and discernment" on women’s contemplative life in general. Yes to social media, but not  as a means of "wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community". No to "recruiting" sisters to avoid closing monasteries. Prayer “must enlarge your heart to embrace all humanity, especially those who suffer” and not close monastic life in on itself.


    20/07/2016 - VATICAN - POLAND

    Pope: Estimated 2 million waiting in Krakow for WYD


    Francis will arrive by tram, along with a group of disabled people. He will visit Auschwitz, in silence, and Father Kolbe’s cell. "There are no particular concerns regarding security" and "no groups have withdrawn over security concerns".


    20/07/2016 - KOREA

    S Korean bishops against THAAD anti-missile system, "the centre of a new cold war"


    In a statement signed by the presidents of the Commission for Reconciliation and the Commission for Justice and Peace, the Catholic Church rejects military escalation and reiterates that peace is through dialogue and economic development in both Koreas. Pope Francis words at the Blue House are cited.


    19/07/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Chinese youth and priests prevented from attending World Youth Day

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Some 2,000 young people from mainland China are expected in Krakow. However, many would-be participants have no money or sponsors. The authorities have banned official and underground priests from going because they are too friendly with the pope. Police have stopped young people at airports minutes before embarkation. Some fear that once home participants will be subjected to interrogation.


    19/07/2016 - KOREA

    Pyongyang successfully launches three ballistic missiles at sea


    The weapons have a range of 500-600 km, capable of hitting all of South Korea up to Busan. Experts concerned about the quality of the experiments on new fuels and cooling system. China criticizes Washington and Seoul deal on the new anti-missile system.


    17/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: More important than serving are listening and welcoming guests


    Francis spoke today about Jesus’s visit to two sisters, Martha and Mary, one of whom was “busy” and the other was “contemplative”. The right attitude belongs to those who "value the most important thing, i.e. the presence of the guest, Jesus." After the Marian prayer, the pope turned his thoughts to the Nice massacre. “May God, the good Father, welcome all the victims into his peace, support the wounded and comfort the families. May he dissolve every project of terror and death, so that no one dares to spill his brother's blood.” He also greeted “the great Chinese brothers and sisters” in the square.


    15/07/2016 - VATICAN - FRANCE

    Pope condemns "blind violence" of Nice attack


    Solidarity with the French people hit "again" and with the victims' families. The pain of the Asian churches in a statement by Cardinal Gracias.


    13/07/2016 - KOREA - USA

    Korea to place anti-missile system in Seongju. The people protest


    The residents of the area chosen for the installation of the THAAD ask the government to reconsider. Moscow and Beijing "disgruntled" by the decision, Pyongyang threatens' physical response". The system will be operational by the end of 2017.

     


    12/07/2016 - KOREA

    Seoul, entrepreneurs against the government: Reopen Kaesong


    Closed five months ago because of increased tension between North and South of the peninsula, the inter-Korean industrial complex is under Pyongang army control. The South's government denies investors the ability to control plants, and 124 companies involved in the project at risk of bankruptcy.

     


    11/07/2016 - ISLAM – EUROPE

    Political Islam, failure in educating young people, ambiguity towards the West

    by Hocine Drouiche*

    Qur‘anic schools in the West teach political Islam centred on jihad and hatred towards the enemies. Imams and scholars are blocking any reform and every question from students. Islamist groups want to destroy Muslim regimes and the imperialist West. An Islam of dialogue that does not proselytise is still possible. Europe must control Jihadi groups. This will save Islam as a religious experience, and even world peace. Imam Drouiche, vice-president of the Conference of Imams of France-Paris, gives his reflections.


    10/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: May good works grow within us, for we will be judged by our mercy


    Francis comments on the parable of the Good Samaritan: "Let us ask ourselves: Is our faith fruitful? Does it produce good works? Or is it rather sterile, and therefore more dead than alive? Do I stop to help others or simply pass by?". After the Angelus prayer he recalls Sea Sunday: "May Mary, Star of the Sea, watch over you."


    08/07/2016 - NORTH KOREA – UNITED STATES

    For Kim Jong-un, US sanctions are an open declaration of war


    The North Korean leader has been placed on a US blacklist for human rights violations. Pyongyang threatens to close very diplomatic channel. Washington and Seoul agree to deploy a missile defence system on the inter-Korean border.


    07/07/2016 - UNITED STATES – NORTH KOREA

    US directly sanctions North Korea and Kim Jong-un for the first time


    For the first time, the US government imposes unilateral sanctions on the Stalinist regime and its dictator for inflicting “intolerable cruelty” on their own people. Such sanctions were imposed in the past on Gaddafi, Mugabe, Assad and Saddam Hussein.


    06/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope calls on a group of poor to pray for those who are rich and those who have no compassion


    The “Church, who loves and prefers the ones whom Jesus loved and preferred, cannot stay quiet until it has reached all those who experience rejection, exclusion, and do not matter to anyone.”






    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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