28 July 2016
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    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    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.


    26/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    WYD in Krakow 28 young Sri Lankans "for a great spiritual and life experience"

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The group will also perform a Sinhalese and Tamil dance, and nearly had to leave some members behind over a visa problem. "We started to pray in groups" and finally "we received a miracle".


    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.


    21/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Young Sri Lankan Catholics and Anglicans seeking unity

    by Melani Manel Perera

    An Anglican and Roman Catholic Joint Youth Conference is held on “so that they may be one” (Jn, 17-22). Young Catholic and Anglican leaders meet to learn “how to become a true disciple of God” and put it in practice in the future.


    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 - SRI LANKA

    Church against drug use in Sri Lankan schools

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The Archdiocese of Colombo calls for broad partition in mass rally on 30 July. Drug abuse is rapidly increasing even among Catholic students. The island nation has about 45,000 heroin users as well as 200,000 cannabis users. It is a transit point for drug trafficking originating in India.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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."


    07/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Colombo: a book on the Christian contribution to national life

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The book’s author, Wijith Rohan, a Catholic, teaches Western classic culture and Christian culture. His book, which contains 16 articles centred on the country’s political history, was presented by a Buddhist scholar, who stressed its importance for today’s society. “Catholicism,” the latter said, “teaches about the freedom of the oppressed”.


    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 - SINGAPORE - SRI LANKA

    Water and houses: the work of Singaporean volunteers for the peasants of Sri Lanka


    Ten members of Charis (Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore) flown in Galle, south of the island, to help rural communities of the place. Led by a priest, they taught the local building water filtration systems and housing. “On this trip I realized that the language of love is universal,” said a 23-year old voluntary.

     


    06/07/2016 - ISLAM

    We Muslims hypocrites: Daesh, it is us

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    Sharia "invented" by Ulemas and taught in Islamic schools is the same law practiced by the Islamic State militants. The "religious jurisprudence, founded more than 10 centuries ago," has “chained and rusted our brain and that of our children." It is urgent to modernize the Muslim religion and free it from the ambiguities linked to the past. The courageous appeal of a young Algerian Muslim student.


    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 - SRI LANKA

    Catholics and activists against police torture in Sri Lanka

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The diocese of Kandy is collecting signatures to petition the government. Human rights advocates held seminars and protest marches. In 2015 the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission received 413 complaints of police violence; so far this year, the number is 53.


    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 - SRI LANKA

    Two years after enduring Buddhist violence, Muslims suffer but forgive

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Buddhist radicals looted and torched homes in three towns in south-western Sri Lanka. Survivors still live in fear, remembering the violence: a car dealer who lost everything, a grocer who lost his shop, a young man who lost his leg.


    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 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka army admits to the existence of a list with names of missing Tamil rebels who surrendered

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The names of the missing are still unknown, by a high ranking official admits that a list exists. In the final stages of the civil war thousands of young Tamil fighters handed in their weapons. Many of them are missing, presumed dead in extra-judicial killings.






    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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