03/06/2014VATICAN Pope: Time of mercy, closeness to wounded for entire Church Encountering priests of the diocese of Rome, Francis says that “we must think of the Church today like a ‘field hospital'". "I always carry a small cloth pouch" containing a cross, in memory of a "great confessor", and when I have bad thoughts about someone my hand reaches for it". Confessors must be neither too "lax" nor too "rigorous".
03/05/2014EGYPT - ISLAM Samir Khalil Samir: Hamas ban also good for Palestinians by Samir Khalil Samir The Islamist movement accuses the Egyptian government of helping "the Israeli occupation". However, by choosing the path of violence, Hamas has created the current unsustainable situation in Gaza. Egypt shows that the diplomatic path is more fruitful. The court's decision is in line with the Arab Spring, against an ideological and religious dictatorship and for democracy.
03/04/2014EGYPT - PALESTINE Egyptian court bans Hamas activities in Egypt The court shuts down the movement's offices in the country. Hamas slams the Egyptian court's decision because it "harms the image of Egypt and its role towards the Palestinian cause". In recent months, Egyptian authorities destroyed most of the 1,200 tunnels with Gaza.
03/04/2014VATICAN Pope: Remember that among Christians "there are more martyrs today than in the early days of the Church" "The world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t tolerate the announcement of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes". "They are condemned because they have a Bible. They can not make the sign of the Cross", "they can not go to Mass, because it is forbidden". How often "does a priest come in secret, among them, they pretend they are having a meal, taking tea and there they celebrate Mass", "so they will not see them".
02/27/2014VATICAN Pope: bishops are not managers but witnesses to the Risen Christ who lives for and near his flock Francis chaired a meeting of the Congregation for Bishops today. For him "To identify a bishop, it is not necessary to list his human, intellectual cultural or even pastoral skills". To "choose," we "need to elevate ourselves, to rise to the 'upper level'. We must rise above and overcome any eventual preferences, sympathies, provenances or tendencies to arrive at God's broad horizon".
02/26/2014ISRAEL New Israeli 'divide and rule' law to separate Arab Christians and Muslims by Joshua Lapide A minor law on equal opportunities is set to appoint distinct Christian and Muslim representatives with the aim of making Christians the "allies" of the State of Israel, at the expense of Muslims. This has raised fears among Christian Arabs. A letter is sent to Pope Francis to stop the recruitment of Christian Arabs into the Israeli Defence Forces (from which Arab Muslims are excluded).