24 July 2017
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  • 23/07/2017 - VATICAN

    At the Angelus Francis, concerned about the violence in the Holy City, asks all to pray "so that the Lord may inspire intentions of reconciliation and peace in all." Evil and good are "intertwined" in each of us, and it is not for man to distinguish or judge.




    21/07/2017 - SYRIA

    Disabled and orphaned by war, boy calls for a spring of peace in Syria


    Rabee Zarife is a 15-year-old Muslim. In November 2016, he lost his father and both legs when a shell exploded. Today, Caritas Syria is caring for him materially and psychologically. His greatest desire is to complete his studies but he still cannot go to school. Sometimes, he feels “like when I was a baby of one-year old”.


    20/07/2017 - LEBANON

    “Surrender or die”: Countdown for Al-Nusra in Jaroud Arsal and Qalamoun

    by Pierre Balanian

    Serious fighting is underway in Idleb with Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and allies. Al-Nusra in Lebanon is totally isolated and time is on the Lebanese army’s side. According to Basel El Hugeiri, mayor of Arsal, the Lebanese army urged civilians to leave.


    20/07/2017 - SYRIA – UNITED NATIONS

    FAO: Wheat harvest in Syria improving, but still less than half of prewar production


    This year's harvest is 1.8 million tonnes, up 12 per cent over last. Some 6.9 million people are food insecure, another 5.6 million are at risk without monthly aid. Deir-ez-Zor and Ar-Raqqa are the most at risk.


    20/07/2017 - ASIA

    Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai among most sought-after destinations in 2017 City Index


    New York is still first, but Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong are second and third for business. The top ten includes Tokyo (fifth), Beijing (seventh), and Shanghai (tenth). The younger generation prefer Abu Dhabi and Tokyo. The data comes from the Ipsos Global survey of the best cities in which to live, work and visit.


    18/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope on twitter reaches 35 million followers


    Benedict XVI launched the account 3 December 2012. Available in nine languages, it is one the most followed in the world with the most retweets. In recent weeks, the pope’s thoughts about Charlie Gard and very sick children was extensively retweeted.


    17/07/2017 - CHINA

    Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization


    The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).


    16/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Jesus invites us to look inward and carry our rocks and brambles in the confession


    "Let us ask ourselves if our heart is open to accept faithfully the seed of the Word of God. Let us ask ourselves if the rocks of idleness are still numerous and big. Let us identify and call by name the brambles of vices. Let us find the courage to clean properly the ground, bringing our rocks and brambles to the Lord in the confession and in prayer.”


    13/07/2017 - IRAQ

    For Baghdad, Kurdish Referendum is a greater threat to Iraq’s unity and future than the Islamic State


    The vote could fuel fresh sectarian clashes. For some time, the Kurds have aspired to an independent state, but several of the region’s states (Syria, Iraq and, above all, Turkey) opposed the plan. Kurds have been used in regional wars, and now intend to decide their destiny. The US and Israel play a role. For Barzani, Baghdad is not a partner but could be a "good neighbour".


    13/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: visiting the sick or giving food to the poor "is already preaching"


    Francis’ message to the International Symposium on Catechesis in Buenos Aires, on the topic "Blessed are those who believe." "Being a catechist is a vocation of service in the Church, a gift of the Lord that changes lives."


    10/07/2017 - SYRIA - UN

    Geneva, New round of UN talks on Syria. The US-Russian brokered truce holds in the southwest


    The seventh round of UN-mediated meetings opens today in the Swiss city. Pessimism prevails among delegations. Opposition Leader: "modest expectations". Washington and Moscow mediate a ceasefire in three southwestern provinces, allowing aid delivery.


    09/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Jesus "does not take the Cross from us, but carries it with us", let us entrust people and situations to him


    “So many goals are illusory: they promise some respite and distraction, they guarantee peace and fun, only to leave the same solitude as before,  they are "fireworks". That is why Christ indicated where to go:"Come to me".


    08/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Card Sarah: Ensure the validity of bread and wine for the Eucharist


    Letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship. Bishops must ensure that the material for the celebration is valid: wheat bread and grape wine. The exceptions for celiac and for those who do not drink wine but can drink mustum. Verification is needed because today these products are also sold in supermarkets and via the internet.


    08/07/2017 - UN

    Over 100 countries vote for the prohibition of nuclear arms, but big powers rebel


    The text was approved with 122 votes in favor, one against, one abstention. But none of the nine nuclear countries -  US, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel - took part in the debate or vote. Vatican support and the appreciation of UN Secretary-General Guterres.


    08/07/2017 - ISRAEL - SYRIA

    The 'bizarre case' of Bashar al-Assad and nerve gas

    by Uri Avnery

    The great Israeli statist comments on allegations of the Syrian President's bombing the city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, and of using lethal gas against his people. But there is no evidence to condemn Assad. In Syria, "everyone is fighting with everyone against everyone." Trump's punitive attack against the will of US generals and with media applause, "unconscious prisoners of lies".


    07/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope to G20: Address ongoing conflicts and migration for an inclusive and sustainable global economy


    Following the request of Angela Merkel, Pope Francis writes to heads of state and government in Hamburg for the summit of the world's major economies. A "heartfelt appeal"  to address the tragic situations of South Sudan, Lake Chad, Horn of Africa and Yemen, where there are 30 million people who have no food and water to survive. " The contradiction between apparent unity in the "common economic forums" and the persistence of "armed conflicts". Take an example from the great leaders of the recent past: Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer, Monnet. Bear in mind the great majority of the population, even though it represents only 10% of the world economy.


    04/07/2017 - SYRIA

    Raqqa, anti-Isis offensive: Alliance opens breach in the Old Town Walls


    With the support of the US raids, Syrian Democratic Forces create a 25-meter gap. The goal is to speed up military operations to wrest the stronghold of Caliphate. Inside there are still 4,000 jihadists ready to fight. UN: fear for fate of civilians used as human shields.


    03/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells FAO that hunger is not just a natural phenomenon, but rather the result of selfishness and wars


    In his message, Francis reminds the international community of its duty of solidarity. Malnutrition is the “result of a more complex condition of underdevelopment caused by the indifference of many or the selfishness of a few.” At the same time, “All of us realize that the intention to provide everyone with his or her daily bread is not enough. Rather, there is a need to recognize that all have a right to it and they must therefore benefit from it.”


    03/07/2017 - ASIA

    US and Russia reduce (minimally) quantity of nuclear weapons; China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel increase them


    2017 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report is published. Data reveals slowdown in the process of dismantling nuclear weapons: 14,935 nuclear warheads against 15,395 of the previous year. US and Russia are investing in modernizing their systems. The smallest arsenals in Asia are in full swing. Israel has 80 nuclear warheads. Pope Francis's appeal to the UN has not been heard.


    02/07/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: If you leave everything for Jesus, people will recognise the Lord in you and help you to convert. He makes an appeal to Venezuela


    During the Angelus, Pope Francis called on Christians to hold Jesus as "the centre, the whole of life." Do not have a "duplicitous heart" with a "foot in two shoes". May the " holy faithful people of God” help “us to be good priests." He dedicated a Hail Mary to Venezuela, and expressed his “closeness to the families who have lost children in the streets”.


    01/07/2017 - JORDAN – SYRIA

    In Amman, Christian and Muslim children sing for peace and coexistence


    Local Caritas and Salesian Sisters sponsor a project involving 40 children, 20 Jordanian Christians and 20 Syrian Muslim refugees, in two classes, one for singing and one for the flute. The course began in June three times a week, up to four in July. The goal is to create an concessionally mixed choir.


    30/06/2017 - SYRIA – POLAND

    Jan Karski Award to Fr Ibrahim, source of hope in a dead Aleppo without a future


    The guardian of the Latin parish receives honour dedicated to the memory of the Polish lawyer and activist. Card Dziwisz handed over the award stressing the Franciscan’s devotion to the pastoral ministry of his city and people. Even today people in Aleppo suffer from the lack of water and electricity, from malnutrition and the lack of adequate medical facilities and care.


    29/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Like Peter and Paul, apostles on the way, not parlour Christians

    by Papa Francesco

    At Mass for the solemnity of St. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis emphasizes the characteristics of the apostles: professing Christ, accepting persecution, being masters of prayer. In the world today "so many Christians are marginalized, slandered, discriminated, subjected to even mortal violence", and often "in a climate of silence - not often silent accomplice". The presence of the ecumenical delegation sent by Bartolomeo I, Patriarch of Constantinople.


    29/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: The faith of Peter and Paul, confessed, announced, crowned with the supreme test of martyrdom


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis speaks of how the two apostles were "liberated" to "proclaim the Gospel in difficult and in some cases hostile environments." "Especially in times of trial, God tends a hand to us, comes to our aid, and frees us from enemy threats." Greeting to the faithful from Indonesia and Qatar. The greeting to the new cardinals, the major archbishops who received the pallium, and the delegation of the ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople.


    29/06/2017 - VATICAN - AUSTRALIA

    Card. George Pell accused of abuse: "I'm innocent." Pope's trust and esteem


    The Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy takes a leave of absence to "clear" his name of charges of paedophilia, which he categorically rejects. Card. Pell is the highest Vatican personality to undergo this kind of accusation. The Holy See expresses "respect" for the Australian justice system, but affirms all its esteem for the cardinal, who has worked very hard against paedophilia. Pope's appreciation for his commitment to economic reforms. Some people think that these accusations are a "vendetta" of mafiosi groups who are now unable to use the Vatican bank in money laundering operations.


    28/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells new cardinals that they are called to look at the reality of suffering and injustice


    Francis created five new cardinals today. They come from Laos, Mali, Sweden, El Salvador and Spain. He described today’s reality in which “It is the innocent who suffer and die as victims of war and terrorism;” a world in which “forms of enslavement [. . .] continue to violate human dignity even in the age of human rights;” where “refugee camps [. . .] at times seem more like a hell than a purgatory;” and where “all that is no longer useful, people included,” is discarded.


    28/06/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    What changes and what remains of the last 20 years of Hong Kong. The contribution of Christians

    by Mary Mee-Yin Yuen (*)

    The handover of the former British colony to China in 1997 did not come without pain. Still, Beijing respected Hong Kong’s way of life for several years. In recent times though, mainland meddling in Hong Kong's internal affairs has increased. This has sparked a strong reaction in favour of democracy as well as autonomy, especially among young people. The Catholic Church remains committed to the common good. Card Zen is considered a hero of democracy and the marginalised. It is still possible to build trust between rulers and ruled. What follows is an analysis by a researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


    28/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: "Persecution is not a contradiction to the Gospel, it is part of it"


    The Christian is a "martyr," a "witness" to good, he accepts to die "for fidelity to the Gospel" and "reproaches the idea that suicide bombers may be called martyrs. There is nothing in their end that can be likened to the attitude of the children of God ".


    28/06/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope urges Trade Unions to be “prophetic” in defending the rights of "the most fragile workers"


    The role of Trade Unions in a modern society, their need to distinguish themselves from politics and for a new social pact for young people. "It's a crippled and short-lived society that forces older people to work too long and forces an entire generation of young people not to work when they should work for themselves and for everyone."


    27/06/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Hong Kong’s 20 years tested by Xi Jinping's visit

    by Bernardo Cervellera

    The president and his wife arrive tomorrow for several ceremonies behind two-tonne barriers and heavy security screens. Deng had promised "one country, two systems," but in recent years the people of Hong Kong have had to fight for democracy and against security laws. Many statements coming from Beijing highlight the mainland’s blind supremacy. Dissatisfied, many young people are tempted by "independence".






    Editor's choices

    CHINA
    Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization



    The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).


    INDIA
    Crosses broken and cemetery desecrated in Goa due to religious hatred, Mgr Neri Ferrao says



    The broken crosses were left on the side of the road. Some 28 niches, five wooden crosses, nine granite crosses, 16 graves and the big entrance cross at the Guardian Angel cemetery were damaged. At a Hindu extremist meeting, a leader said “those who eat cow should be hanged in public,” noted Sajan K George.


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