25 March 2017
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  • 24/03/2017 - VATICAN - EU

    Francis spoke to the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. He told them that the Old Continent is a reality based on the centrality of man, effective solidarity, openness to the world, the pursuit of peace and development, and overture to the future. He also talked about "serious migration crisis" and the populism that is the "fruit of an egotism".




    24/03/2017 - VATICAN - GREAT BRITAIN - ISLAM

    London attack: The Pope's pain and that of a young Muslim


    Pope Francis expresses "prayer and solidarity" for the victims killed in Westminster. A young Muslim  apologizes to the victims because terrorists used his religion to cause such violence. Islam "has been taken hostage." Police release the name of the dead attacker: Khalid Massoud, 52, born in Britain. Perhaps he is of Pakistani or Afghan origin. The Islamic State claims him as "one of our soldiers."


    23/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: if you do not listen to the Word of God, you end up confusing God with the devil


    "When a people, a community, even a Christian community, a parish, a diocese, close their ears and become deaf to the Word of the Lord, they look for other voices, other lords, and end up with the idols, idols of the world, the worldliness, that society offers them. They walk away from the living God. "


    23/03/2017 - ASIA - ISLAM - GREAT BRITAIN

    Indian Church praying for the victims of London attack. The sympathy of world leaders


    Cardinal Gracias expresses deep sorrow for an attack that caused a "senseless loss of life." And prays God grant "peace, strength and consolation." Sympathy and solidarity from international leaders. Iran asks to stop the sale of the "weapons to terrorist groups ". Erdogan expresses solidarity with the British, but launches a new attack on Europe.


    22/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Protect water, a common good, also by enhancing the cultural and religious significance


    The Word of God "feeds a hope that concrete results in sharing in mutual service." "Our hope is not based on our own strength or means, but on the support of God and the faithfulness of His love, that is, on God's strength and consolation of God." "That of migrants is the biggest tragedy since the Second World War".


    21/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future


    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    21/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: the forgiveness of sins "is a mystery" and the first step is shame


    Forgiveness received from God, "the wonder he created in your heart" must be able to "enter into your consciousness." "We ask for the grace of shame before God. It 'a great grace! Ashamed of our sins and thus we receive forgiveness and the grace of generosity to give it to others because if the Lord has forgiven me so much, who am I not to forgive? ".

     


    21/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Young Catholics want to learn more about Christian teachings on sexuality and personal growth

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Catholic Youth Commission carried out a survey on youth needs. Sexuality, emotions and spirituality of marriage are still taboo in Pakistan. The Synod of Bishops in 2018 will focus on young people. Missionary schools must play a decisive role in building the personality of the students.


    20/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: St. Joseph gives young people "the ability to dream, to take risks"


    "The man who does not speak but obeys, the man of tenderness, the man capable of keeping promises so they may become solid, safe." He is also the guardian of God’s dream": the dream of God" to save us all ", of redemption, is confided to him.

     


    19/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Forgetful of great gift of baptism, we seek wells whose waters cannot quench our thirst


    At the Angelus Pope Francis comments on Christ’s dialogue with the Samaritan woman: "This Gospel is meant for us!". Lent opportunity to encounter Jesus "in prayer, in a heart to heart conversation, see his face in the face of a suffering brother or sister ". Solidarity with the people of Peru, hit by floods. The beatification in Bolzano of Josef Mayr-Nusser, Nazi martyr: a model for the laity and for fathers. 


    17/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope leads penitential liturgy


    Francis, who did not deliver the homily, was confessed for about five minutes and then confessed, for about 50 minutes, some of the faithful. This morning he said that the confessor must pray, discern – to avoid generalising – and remember that the confessional is also a place of evangelisation, because it allows an encounter with the true face of God, which is that of mercy.


    17/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Islamabad asks for help from Facebook to block online blasphemy


    The Government asks for experts to track user comments. The social media giant, however, wants to protect the rights and privacy of its users. The unstated goal is to control the activities of dissidents, including the five intellectuals and bloggers kidnapped last month.

     


    16/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "Cursed is the man who trusts in himself", in goods and not in the Lord


    Those who trust in riches, goods, "in the flesh" are on a dangerous road of sin, that always personalizes God, and leads to corruption, "from which there is no going back."

     


    16/03/2017 - VATICAN-LEBANON

    Pope: I will go to Lebanon and I will always remember it in my prayers


    Francis receives Lebanese President Michel Aoun, for whom "The coexistence of Lebanon occupies a special place in the heart of Pope Francis, who will respond to the invitation to visit the Land of the Cedars." Vatican appreciation for Lebanon's support to Syrian refugees.

     


    16/03/2017 - S. ARABIA - PAKISTAN - YEMEN

    Riyadh seeking help from Islamabad to guard the southern border with Yemen


    A brigade ready to "prop up" the fragile frontier to the south. The Pakistani army among the few in the Muslim world not of sectarian connotation. Its role as guarantor and mediator in the delicate Middle Eastern context. Growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and the Emirates on support to Yemeni President Hadi. In the background the trade relations between Tehran and Islamabad.

     


    15/03/2017 - ITALY

    Jesus teaches us how to become missionaries

    by Piero Gheddo

    The "new evangelisation" calls for a new Christian consciousness, that of having to represent Jesus to the people Christians meet. It requires overcoming the barrier of secularism, whereby talking about religious topics is seen an inappropriate, almost a taboo that prevents many from expressing the religious feeling we all carry in our hearts.


    15/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Sin of taking work from people is "very serious”


    "This work gives us dignity, and those in charge of people, leaders, have an obligation to do everything possible so that every man and every woman can work and thus hold their heads high, face others, with dignity". "We are called to love, to love", but we must avoid the risk that our charity is "hypocritical."


    14/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: conversion is turning away from evil and learning to do good, not in words but in "getting things done"


    " Along the path of life, of the Christian life one learns every day. You have to learn every day to do something, to be better than the day before. " " He, the Lord, names three concrete things, but there are many: seek justice, relieve the oppressed, give orphans justice, defend the cause of the widow… but concrete things."

     


    12/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Violence against young people is a “hidden Scream” that we must listen to


    The Cross "is not some home furnishing nor an ornament to wear, but a call to the love with which Jesus sacrificed himself to save humanity from evil and sin. " the pope expresses his "closeness" to the people of Guatemala after fire ravages a youth shelter.


    10/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: prayers, not "optional celibacy” are the answer to the crisis of vocations


    In a long interview published in the German weekly Die Zeit, Francis described himself as a “sinner” and “fallible. He also spoke about the "viri probati", "piecemeal World War", criticism and posters, and populism in Europe.


    10/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Catholic activists: Educational emergency in Pakistan, 22.6 million children are out of school

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    On March 8 the ESL study was presented. In the country 44% of children between six and 16 years have no access to education, while the illiteracy rate is 59.98%. The funds for schools are limited, as opposed to those destined to military spending. The teaching of the Koran is required. Activist: "Children must go to school and not to work at home."

     


    09/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Punjab government to change Christian marriage law "to protect women"

    by Shafique Khokhar

    In Pakistan, Christian marriage is governed by rules dating back to British-era legislation. Divorce is permissible only in the case of the wife’s adultery. This has led many Christian men to convert to Islam to end their marriage.


    08/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Former worker under house arrest in Lahore for asking fair wage

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Muhammad Iqbal is suing his former employer who exploited him for little money. In Pakistan, 2.3 million people work in slave-like conditions. It is common practice to pay off parents’ debt with child labour. About 65 per cent of bonded labourers are Christian.


    07/03/2017 - ASIA

    At least 900 million people paid bribes in 2016 in Asia-Pacific region


    Transparency International found that India and Vietnam are the most corrupt whilst Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia are the least. The poor suffer the most, but in Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia the richest are asked for bribes the most. Bribes “can kill”. Many governments remain lukewarm towards the problem.


    06/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan Christian leaders call for a new province in tribal areas

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Federal authorities decided to join seven tribal areas to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. British-era rules are still enforced in the area. The government plans to invest a billion dollars. For Lutheran bishop, “locals have been neglected” and “it will be long time before they truly understand the notion of nation”.


    05/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: In Lent, treat the Bible like our mobile phone, always have it at hand


    At the Angelus Pope Francis says we should “always have the Bible close at hand”, open it "several times a day"; read "the messages of God" for strength in "spiritual warfare" against Satan during Lent. Tonight the Pope and the Curia begin the Lenten spiritual exercises. 


    04/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, defies terrorism: Cricket final electrifies Christian and Muslim fans

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Tomorrow is the final of the Pakistan Super League. Five local teams will take part in the league. Tickets cost over 100 Euros. Sports, key to overcoming divisions among the population, in defiance of terrorism.


    03/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: true fasting is to help others and not do penance while performing injustices


    God delights in "the penitent heart", "the heart that feels it is a sinner and knows it is a sinner." "The other is ‘hypocritical' fasting – this is the word so often used by Jesus - it's a fast to be seen or to feel right but in the meantime I do injustice, I am not just, I exploit people."

     


    02/03/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Christian father and daughter arrested on false charges of theft in Faisalabad

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The two are accused of theft and robbery by the girl’s employers, a Muslim family that employed her as a maid. She earned US$ 40 a month for 18 hours of work a day. For Shahid Anwar, diocesan coordinator for Justice and Peace, false charges are levelled at minority people who stand up to slavery.


    02/03/2017 - VATICAN

    Wealth redistribution is a "prerequisite" for saving the environment and biodiversity


    A workshop organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences concludes that responsibility for degradation lies with the “enormous increase in economic activity based on profit and on the use of fossil fuels”, and the rich are main culprit.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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