The largest inland body of water will be neither sea nor lake but will benefit from "special" status. The leaders of Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed the deal. Some 50 billion barrels of oil and 300 trillion cubic metres of natural gas are at stake. The sea is famous for its caviar, the roe of wild sturgeons.
At the general audience, Pope Francis continues hiscatechesis on idolatry: "Human nature, to escape from precariousness, seeks a 'do-it-yourself' religion". The golden calf "is a symbol of wealth ... success, power and money ... the temptations of all time". "Our salvation comes from the One who became poor, who accepted failure". "In Christ our fragility is no longer a curse, but a place of encounter with the Father". The memory of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein, patron saint of Europe.
The Patriarch of Moscow will travel to Constantinople on the 31st of August. The theme of autocephaly (independence) of the Orthodox Church of Kiev is on the agenda. The request came only from the Ukrainian president, but is also supported by Orthodox in Ukraine and by the Greek-Catholics. Predictions of victory for Bartholomew I, who has a "primacy of honor" among the Orthodox.
In Yerevan the former pro-Russian president, Robert Kocharian, is accused of "reversal of the constitutional order and usurpation of power", together with Gen. Jurij Khachaturov, pupil of Moscow. In 2008 they stifled the street demonstrations with violence. Moldova seeks to detach itself from submission to Russia, to move towards the European Union.
At the Angelus, Pope Francis marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Montini, whom he will canonize on October 14th. Encounter with Jesus goes "beyond the immediate satisfaction of material needs". God's work does not consist in "doing" things, but in "believing" in the One He has sent. The memorial of the dedication of the basilica of Saint Mary Major, "the Virgin Mary, Salus populi romani".
At least 800 militants or more are taking positions in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Tajikistan is protected by Russian soldiers; Uzbekistan has the best and most experienced army in the region; Turkmenistan is the weakest state. Most of the fighters in Syria came from Central Asia, particularly from Kyrgyzstan.
By changing article 2,267, the pontiff commits the Church to the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The previous version of article (from 1992) allowed capital punishment, albeit under strict conditions. China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are among the countries that execute the most.
Cross and inscription "Catholic Church" removed from church facade. The ban on holding summer youth camps for catechism. Meanwhile, the vaccine scandal breaks out, a sign of a lack of moral values in Chinese society. Vaccinating young people in the spirit, helping them discover their faith, would help Chinese society. The considerations of a priest blogger.
The disappearance of a child who was sold has "nothing to do with the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity". The nuns are victims of "many myths [. . .] information distorted and false news” as well as “baseless innuendo". Sr Prema gives her version of events and defends her congregation. Only two weeks before, the authorities described the children’s home involved as an “excellent environment for the care of children”. Now they have been taken by social services.