30 July 2016
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    29/07/2016 - WYD

    “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 - PAKISTAN

    For Justice and Peace, textbooks are full of intolerance and hatred towards non-Muslims

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Episcopal Commission presents a comprehensive study on violent content in curriculum. Many references to hatred and intolerance fuel an atmosphere of violence, religious fanaticism and extremism. Over the years, textbooks have been cleansed of references to non-Muslim heroes, whilst “weapon-wielding warriors” have been chosen as heroes.


    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".


    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.


    25/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, 207 children abducted in 2016: fears of sexual abuse racket

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Most of the children lived in a poor neighborhood of the city. No ransom demanded: fears of possible trafficking. This month 20 disappeared, children and adolescents; the bodies of four of them were found in garbage bags and dumped in landfills.


    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 - ASIA – WYD

    Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    "Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.


    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.


    22/07/2016 - PAKISTAN – WYD

    Young Pakistanis to meet pope in Krakow

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    21/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Church and Pakistani activists call for swift law against ‘honour killings’

    by Shafique Khokhar

    Prime Minister Sharif’s daughter calls on parliament to legislate after the murder of Qandeel Baloch, a famous model and blogger who was killed by her brother to cleanse the family’s lost honour. A bill against honour killings has been languishing in parliament for years. However, for Muslim teacher, such a law would “make an already complicated issue even more complicated.”


    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 - PAKISTAN

    Pilgrimage of Youth Cross begins in Faisalabad July 22

    by Shafique Khokhar

    Message from Msgr. Arshad for the diocesan celebration of World Youth Day. "The youth must, in particular take pride in the Cross of Christ who has reconciled humanity with God our Heavenly Father by his sacrifice on the Cross".


    20/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, Caritas stages show on peace and harmony


    The play was performed by Ajoka actors, one of Pakistan's most famous companies. The social arm of the Church wants to effect a profound change in society and involve the various communities. The theater group fighting conservative mentality.


    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 - PAKISTAN

    The first Eucharistic Congress ends with an appeal to Catholics’ "awareness"

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Pastoral initiatives are presented whose goal is to deepen the sense of belonging to the Catholic Church. More than 1,500 people, mostly young people, attend the meeting’s final Mass.


    18/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Church calls for ban on TV preacher who inspired Dhaka terrorists

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Zakir Naik, a major Salafist advocate, is the founder of Peace TV and a well known TV preacher. His network has broadcast in Pakistan since 2009. Dhaka massacre investigators found a direct link between his sermons and one of the attackers.


    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.


    16/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    For the first time two members of religious minorities acknowledged as tribal elders


    Wilson Wazir Masih, a Christian, and Gormeet Singh, a Sikh, have become maliks, tribal elders. They represent some 30,000 people who can now legally press for their social, education, and health rights.


    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.


    15/07/2016 - PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN

    Peshawar: school attack mastermind killed in US drone strike


    Umar Mansoor died along with four other Islamic militants in a US drone attack in Afghanistan. The Taliban terrorist leader trained the attackers who killed 148 people, including 132 children, in December 2014. He also masterminded two other deadly attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.


    14/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore: Christian foundation against the new metro line going through church land

    by Shafique Khokhar

    City’s 27 km Orange Line Metro Train project threatens 27 heritage sites, 11 of which are protected under federal law and six under provincial law. Four churches dating back to the mid-19th century would be affected, including the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection. For activist, “we [. . .] will not sit back and let anyone destroy this 2000-year-old city”.


    13/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Punjab, manhunt for Christian accused of blasphemy


    James Nadeem, a resident in the Father Colony Gujrat district. The man accused of writing insults against Islam on social networks. Then he fled to save his life. His sisters arrested to induce him to surrender.


    12/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Muslims kidnap Christian girl in Faisalabad, kill father when he tries to rescue her

    by Shafique Khokhar

    A 14-year-old girl has been abducted on the pretext of a job. Her father was persuaded to withdraw a complaint against her abductors, but instead of getting his daughter, he was killed in cold blood on his way to rescue her. His wife and three daughters now live in fear of reprisals, and ask for help from God's people.






    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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