30 April 2016
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    30/04/2016 - VATICAN

    At an extraordinary Jubilee audience, Francis returns to the theme of reconciliation, "God has never failed to offer his forgiveness to men: his mercy is felt from generation to generation." An appeal to confessors: "You are in the place of God the Father." A special Jubilee greeting for the police and the Armed Forces: "Faced with every day challenges, irradiate Christian hope, which is the certainty of the victory of love over hatred and peace over war."




    29/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Punjab: home-based workers call for the recognition of their rights

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    More than a hundred women marched yesterday in front of the Lahore Press Club, holding banners, calling for their wages to be raised to the national minimum. Some 12 million workers are employed in this area, and are denied the same rights that other workers enjoy. Since 2013, a draft bill has been before the Punjab cabinet waiting for approval. See the video of the protest.


    29/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: A Christian does not say one thing and do another: He walks in the light, "because God is Light."


    "The lie we know where it comes from: in the Bible, Jesus calls the devil 'father of lies', the liar". "Sin is ugly! But if you have sinned, He is watching and waiting for you to forgive you! '. Always! Because He - God - is greater than our sins".

     


    28/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: in the Church, there have always been resistance to the "surprises" of the Holy Spirit


    “[G]et together, join together, listen, discuss, pray and decide. This is the so-called sinodality of the Church, which expresses the communion of the Church,” the pope said. “Let us ask the Lord for grace to understand how the Church can face the surprises of the Spirit, to be docile and to follow the path which Christ wants for us and for the whole Church.”


    27/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Indifference to the suffering of man is to ignore God


    Jesus teaches us not to "categorize others to see who is our neighbor and who is not. You can become a neighbor to whomever you meet in need, and you will be if you have compassion in your heart, that is if you are capable of suffering with others".

     


    26/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Ahmadis increasingly victims of human rights violations in Pakistan

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    According to the annual report on persecution against the group, 248 Ahmadis were murdered last year, with another 323 victims of attempted murder. Scores of their places of worship have either been seized or illegally disposed. Many of their tombs have been desecrated. Since 1974, Ahmadis have been treated as “non-Muslims” and a government ordinance bans them from using Islamic greetings and prayers, or to refer to their places of worship as mosques.


    26/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "It is not for the pastor to determine what the faithful have to say in different arenas"


    In a letter to the president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America Francis speaks of the "temptation" of clericalism that "not only cancels out the Christian personality, but also tends to belittle and underestimate the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of the our people ".

     


    24/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card


    In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.


    23/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Minority leaders slam murder of Sikh minister who was a friend of the Christians

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Two men on motorbikes gunned down their victim. At the start of his mandate as minister, he had asked a bishop for his blessing. Muslims liked him for his welfare work. For one observer, the incident highlights the government’s failure to protect minorities.


    23/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope tells youth that without Jesus, “there is no signal. Talking becomes impossible”


    In a video message to the boys and girls taking part in the Jubilee for Teens, Pope Francis stressed forgiveness and works of mercy, even for “Young people like yourselves, who are hungry, thirsty; who are refugees or foreigners or sick and in need of our help, and friendship.”


    22/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Announcing the Gospel, intercession and hope, lynchpins of Christian life


    "Each one of us, let’s ask ourselves: How is the announcement (of Jesus) in my life?  How is my relationship with Jesus who intercedes for me?  And how is my hope?  Do I truly believe that the Lord is risen? Do I believe that he prays to the Father on my behalf?  Each time that I call him, He is praying for me, He is interceding? ".


    21/04/2016 - PAKISTAN – INDIA

    Pilgrimage of peace between Lahore-Delhi to boost unity and mercy between the two peoples

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Mgr Sebastian Francis Shaw, archbishop of Lahore, visited the Indian capital with 16 priests from his diocese, where they were “greeted so warmly”. Despite being divisions and conflicts since 1947, “A strong sense of brotherhood and communion binds our two peoples”, and this calls for “a new culture of mercy".


    21/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Remembering what God has done in our lives, strengthens the journey of faith


    "It is good for a Christian’s heart to remember their journey, for their path: how the Lord led me here, how He took me by the hand. And how often I have said to the Lord: 'No! Go away! I do not want to!'".


     


    20/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    For Lahore Franciscan, Amoris Laetitia is a reconciliation tool for Catholics

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Fr Victor Sawera heads a Franciscan centre in Lahore. He is personally involved in spiritual outreach with 30 families. He began working with Catholic couples when he was ordained eight years ago. Poverty and extra-marital relations are the main challenges.


    20/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: distinguish between sin, to be rejected, and the sinner, to be welcomed


    During the general audience Francis expresses solidarity and prayer for "our brothers and sisters in Ecuador" struck by the earthquake and recalls the people of Ukraine who "have been suffering for a long time the consequences of an armed conflict, forgotten by many".

     


    19/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: "A Christian who is not drawn by the Father to Jesus is an orphan"


    "Jesus invites us to be his disciples, but to be so we must let ourselves be drawn by the Father to Him. And the humble prayer of the son, that we may also say, is: 'Father, draw me to Jesus; Father, take me to know Jesus', and the Father will send the Spirit to open up our hearts and lead us to Jesus. "


    17/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE

    Pope Francis brings three Syrian refugee families home to the Vatican


    They arrived with the pontiff from Lesbos. They join the two families already living inside the Vatican. Pope alights first from the plane bringing him back to Rome to shake hands with each of them. The reception and the maintenance of three families will be borne by the Vatican. The initial hospitality - said Father Lombardi - will be guaranteed by the Community of Sant'Egidio.

     


    17/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Our life is safe in Christ’s hands, we no longer need fear


    At the Regina Caeli Francis stresses the importance of listening, as followers, to Christ's words: "An engaging not superficial, listening, to enable a true mutual knowledge". After the Marian prayer, the Pope thanks people for their prayers for his recent visit to Lesbos with Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Hieronymus: "The unity in the charity of all the disciples of the Lord". The Pope speaks of a young Muslim man whose wife was slain by terrorists because she was a Christian: "She was a martyr, and he was crying so much." A prayer for the victims of the earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan.


    16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE

    Pope calls on Europe to be a land of welcome, says migrants are not numbers but faces


    Meeting the people of Lesbos, Francis expresses "admiration" for the Greek people who - despite difficulties - welcomes those who suffer: "God will reward this generosity, like that of other surrounding nations, which from the first moments have received with great availability many forced migrants. " The people's "concerns are legitimate," but we must never forget that in front of us we have people who are suffering. A common prayer.


    16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE - ORTHODOX

    Migrant crisis, the "worst humanitarian disaster since the Second World War"


    Francis, Bartholomew and Jerome sign a lengthy joint declaration on the situation of refugees. "World opinion can not ignore the colossal humanitarian crisis created by the spread of violence and armed conflict, the persecution and displacement of religious and ethnic minorities, and the uprooting of families from their homes, in violation of their human dignity and their fundamental human rights and freedoms". Renewed commitment to Christian unity, an appeal for the end of the war in the Middle East. The full text of the declaration.

     


    16/04/2016 - GREECE - VATICAN

    Pope to refugees in Lesbos: You are not alone, I plead with the world for a solution


    Along with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens Hieronymus, Francis visits the large Moria refugee camp on the Greek island. Moving, painful but also much joy, especially from the young people. Many throw themselves at the Pope’s feet to tell stories of pain and suffering. The pope: "Do not lose hope." Special thanks to the Greek people who "despite their own suffering" opened hearts and homes to those fleeing from pain.


    14/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: The Holy Spirit accomplishes things, not so-called fidelity to the law


    Commenting on Phillip’s evangelization of Ethiopia, Francis stresses the importance of openness to the Spirit: "Philip, one of the Apostles, was busy as all bishops are, and this day surely he had his plan to work". But the Spirit tells him to leave what he was planning to go to Ethiopia "and he obeyed."

     


    13/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan’s Kalash complain that their youth are forcibly converted to Islam


    The community of 3,000 is polytheistic, speaks an Indo-European language, and traces its origins to Alexander the Great’s army. With fair skin and light eyes, its members face an uphill battle to pass on their culture as many move to the city for work. In 2008, they applied to be added to the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, but so far the government has been slow due to red tape.


    13/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: I am going to Lesbos to be close to refugees. Pray for me


    At the General Audience Francis comments on the call of Matthew, a sinner in the eyes of the world: "The Church is not a perfect community, but disciples on a journey, who follow the Lord because they know that they are sinners and in need of his forgiveness. The Christian life then is a school of humility that opens us to grace". Arrogance and pride "is a wall preventing our relationship with God." After the catechesis an appeal: "I will go to Greece to express sympathy and solidarity with, migrants and the Greek people who welcome them so generously."

     


    12/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Islamabad bans violent demonstrations by Islamic groups


    The government took the decision yesterday to end violence by Muslim extremists who recently brought the capital to a standstill, following the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed murderer of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.


    12/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Persecution, the Church's daily bread


    There is obvious persecution such as the Easter Day attack against Pakistani Christians or "polite" persecution not directed not against those who profess the name of Christ, but against those who want to profess the values ​​of God's Son. "It is a persecution against God the Creator in the person of His children".

     


    11/04/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Faisalabad: A clinic for poor people, "monument of mercy"

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The St. Dominic Dispensary was closed last August for lack of funds and much needed maintenance. The clinic cared for 12 thousand patients a month, completely free of charge. It was an "example of religious harmony because it welcomed both Christians and Muslims."

     


    10/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope, "in the hope given to us by the Risen Christ", calls for Fr Tom’s release


    “All of us Christians are called to pass on this message of resurrection to those we meet; especially to those who suffer, who are alone, who are in precarious conditions, the sick, the refugees, the marginalised.”


    09/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: almsgiving is mercy, not change for the poor


    “[C]harity requires, first of all, an attitude of inner joy.” “Offering mercy cannot be a burden or a nuisance to get rid of quickly.” “[P]raise God through sacrifice and praise God with alms.” “[A]lmsgiving must also be a sacrifice.”


    08/04/2016 - VATICAN

    Amoris laetitia: not only feelings and morality, but also social engagement

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on family love cannot be reduced to problem of communion for divorced and remarried people. The document suggests ways to remake societal life. As a Catholic vision, it links the actual to the infinite, and calls for public policies that protect the rights of families.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card



    In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.


    IRAN
    Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.


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