25 July 2016
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    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    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.


    20/07/2016 - RUSSIA – ORTHODOX

    Orthodox Church warns that youth neo-paganism is a challenge for the future

    by Nina Achmatova

    A few days before the anniversary of the Baptism of Rus, Moscow Patriarchate officials sound the alarm against paganism among athletes and soldiers. Going back on Christianity “is a step towards self-destruction.”


    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".


    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.


    18/07/2016 - RUSSIA – ORTHODOX

    Russian Orthodox Church officially rejects the Council of Crete as a Pan-Orthodox

    by Nina Achmatova

    The Synod rejects meeting’s Pan-Orthodox status, but recognises it as "important event". The Patriarchate of Antioch distances itself making it clear it that it does not consider the documents approved at the Council as binding.


    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 - RUSSIA - FRANCE

    Moscow patriarch condemns Nice massacre as an insane act


    The Russian Orthodox Primate extends his condolences to the families of the victims, calling for reflection on what is happening “to the human race".


    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.


    13/07/2016 - RUSSIA

    Imam at Moscow mosque arrested for abetting terrorist activities

    by Nina Achmatova

    Mahmoud Velitov is the imam at the Yardyam mosque. His alleged offence dates back to 2013. He is said to have partly admitted to the charges.


    11/07/2016 - ISLAM – EUROPE

    Political Islam, failure in educating young people, ambiguity towards the West

    by Hocine Drouiche*

    Qur‘anic schools in the West teach political Islam centred on jihad and hatred towards the enemies. Imams and scholars are blocking any reform and every question from students. Islamist groups want to destroy Muslim regimes and the imperialist West. An Islam of dialogue that does not proselytise is still possible. Europe must control Jihadi groups. This will save Islam as a religious experience, and even world peace. Imam Drouiche, vice-president of the Conference of Imams of France-Paris, gives his reflections.


    10/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: May good works grow within us, for we will be judged by our mercy


    Francis comments on the parable of the Good Samaritan: "Let us ask ourselves: Is our faith fruitful? Does it produce good works? Or is it rather sterile, and therefore more dead than alive? Do I stop to help others or simply pass by?". After the Angelus prayer he recalls Sea Sunday: "May Mary, Star of the Sea, watch over you."


    08/07/2016 - RUSSIA

    Putin gives green light to new anti-terrorism laws: a blow to freedom

    by Nina Achmatova

    The recently approved measures referred to as 'Big Brother' because they bring Internet and telephone communications under the control of the secret services, which now demand tools to decode encrypted messaging programs. Severe restrictions on religious freedom. Human rights activists and businesses revolt.

     


    06/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope calls on a group of poor to pray for those who are rich and those who have no compassion


    The “Church, who loves and prefers the ones whom Jesus loved and preferred, cannot stay quiet until it has reached all those who experience rejection, exclusion, and do not matter to anyone.”


    06/07/2016 - ISLAM

    We Muslims hypocrites: Daesh, it is us

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    05/07/2016 - BANGLADESH – ISLAM

    Dhaka massacre and the half understood Regensburg lecture

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    After years of the good life, “derailed youth” converted to radical Islam. Moderate Islam must condemn fundamentalist Islam. Muslims blame uncultured imams who sow hatred and contempt. The West should read again Benedict XVI’s lecture and rethink its marginalisation of religion as irrational. Fundamentalist Islam and the godless West mirror each other.


    05/07/2016 - VATICAN - SYRIA

    For pope, no military solution in Syria is possible, only a national unity government can do


    Francis issues a video message in support of Caritas Internationalis’s ‘Syria, peace is possible’ campaign. “While the people suffer, incredible quantities of money are being spent to supply weapons to fighters. And some of the countries supplying these arms are also among those that talk of peace. How can you believe in someone who caresses you with the right hand and strikes you with the left hand?”


    04/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Vatican calls on governments and bishops to care more for those who live from the sea


    The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant releases a message for Sea Sunday 2016, which falls next Sunday 10 July, to "remind to all Christian communities and to each individual how important and essential are the seafarer profession and the shipping industry for our daily life”.


    30/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope’s travels in the Caucasus to "encourage hope and paths of peace"


    At today’s jubilee audience, Francis spoke about his recent visit to Armenia, and his coming trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan in September. It is "one thing to talk about mercy, it is another to live mercy" because "the works of mercy are not theoretical issues, but actual deeds. They force us to roll up our sleeves to alleviate suffering. "


    30/06/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Mgr Ma Daqin, the Vatican and the Patriotic Association’s “crooked logic”

    by Gu Feng

    A priest in central China looks at the bishop of Shanghai’s volte-face, comparing him to John the Baptist who was jailed after he accused Herod. Because of their crooked logic, the Patriotic Association and the government seek to eliminate religion from the country. The Vatican is in danger of contradicting itself if it makes compromises with the Patriotic Association. Pope Benedict XVI described the latter as “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, which Pope Francis has never disclaimed, but has instead reiterated.


    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope speaks about Peter and Paul, lights of the east and west, appeals after Istanbul attack


    At the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis talks about the two apostles who brought the faith to Rome. “They still want to carry Jesus, his merciful love, his consolation, his peace.” The pontiff welcomed the ecumenical delegation from Constantinople, as well as Chinese Catholics. Sharing the sorrow, he prays for the Turkish people after the Istanbul airport attack.


    29/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Prayer as the way out for the community in lieu of looking inward from persecution and fear


    On the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Pope Francis greeted the delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. He expressed hope to see things go from "division to unity". He blessed the pallia for new major archbishops, a sign of communion with the See of Peter. Christian communities must be Churches “going out” through prayer to overcome fear and "Herod's complex", the feeling of persecution that drives inward when faced with dangers and “God’s surprises”.


    28/06/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: mercy is the “criterion” for Catholic-Orthodox relations


    Francis welcomes a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, presently in Rome for the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. “For divine mercy frees us of the burden of past conflicts and lets us be open to the future to which the Spirit is guiding us.” Bartholomew mentions the visit to Lesvos Island.


    27/06/2016 - RUSSIA

    Duma approves anti-terrorism measures that "threaten religious freedom"

    by Nina Achmatova

    Protestant leaders and human rights activists slam Yarovaya’s laws, a package of measures that, among other things, make it nearly impossible to carry out processions and limit "missionary activities".


    27/06/2016 - ASIA-UNITED KINGDOM

    Hong Kong and Asia are still suffering from Brexit: "a new era of great uncertainty"


    Analysts speak of "economic chaos" worse than the 2008 crisis. This morning the Pound fell more than 2%. Financial stocks linked to London still negative. At the China's central bank think that it will take 5-10 years to get over the bumps. Indian Manager: Just a temporary reaction.


    26/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: religious freedom essential to the victory of peace


    At the conclusion of his visit Francis signed a joint declaration with Catholicos Karenin II. The "constant conflicts based on ethnicity, political and religious in the Middle East and other parts of the world." The willingness of the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church to continue on the path towards full unity.

     


    26/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    The Pope in Armenia asks the Catholicos to bless "this our path towards full unity"


    Pope Francis attends the Armenian Apostolic divine liturgy. The program does not include a Catholic mass today, to emphasize the unique Eucharistic mystery. The "common wealth" of the two traditions; the intercession of the Spirit, the Mother of God, the saints, the Armenian martyrs to "re-found unity". "Let us pay heed to the younger generation, who seek a future free of past divisions" and the end of the "scandal" of division among Christians.


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: Memory, faith, mercy, the foundation for rebuilding Church and society


    In the city of Gyumri, marked by the genocide and by the earthquake, Pope Francis offers the "three stable foundations" to rebuild the person, the population, society. The invitation to young people to consecrate their lives to merciful love for the Church and the world "this is something that is needed in these troubled times, which is also a time of mercy".

     


    25/06/2016 - VATICAN - ARMENIA

    Pope in Armenia: reconciliation with Turkey and peace in Nagorno Karabakh


    At the ecumenical encounter and prayer for peace Francis says "we are walking together on a journey that has already taken us far". In the Middle East, "where so many of our brothers and sisters suffer violence and persecution on account of hatred and interminable conflicts.  Those conflicts are fueled by the proliferation of weapons and by the arms trade".

     






    Editor's choices

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

    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.


    SYRIA
    Horror in Aleppo: "moderate" rebel group beheads Palestinian child



    The Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheads 11-year old Abdallah Issa shouting "Allah Akbar". The child was executed for collaborating with government forces. Before he died he was tortured. The group’s leaders try to back away from the barbaric killing. The group is supported by Turkey, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


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